Northern Irish astronomer and mathematician Annie Scott Dill Maunder (née Russell) was born in Strabane, County Tyron on April 14, 1868.

Elected as a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1916, she was already a member of the British Astronomical Association (of which her husband was a founder member in 1890). She had been rejected as a fellow 24 years earlier because the RAS didn't accept women until 1916. (Shame!)

Annie took part in five expeditions with her husband Edward Walter Maunder to observe total solar eclipses, these being to Lapland (9 Aug 1896), India (22 Jan 1898, during which event she obtained the longest coronal extension photographed up to that time), Algiers (28 May 1900, which she observed and photographed from the roof of the Hotel de la Régence, Algiers), Mauritius (18 May 1901) and Labrador (30 Aug 1905).

As well as serving two periods as editor of the Journal of the British Astronomical Society (1894-1896 and 1917-1930), she wrote several books in collaboration with her husband Edward Walter Maunder, including ‘The Heavens and Their Story’ (1908). The 54 km diameter lunar crater Maunder, located on the northern shores of Mare Orientale and just beyond the western limb of the Moon, is named in her honour and in honour of Edward Walter Maunder.

Credit: Society for the History of Astronomy

Mona Evans
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