BornWilno (Vilnius, Lithuania), 2 September 1905
DiedTorun, Poland, 16 May 1999
Polish stellar astronomer Wilhelmina Iwanowska was one of three people to recognize, in 1950, that high-velocity (Population II) F stars have unusually weak absorption lines of heavy elements. (The other two were Nancy Grace Roman and Martin Schwarzschild.) Iwanowska received her habilitation degree in 1937 from the University Stefan Batory in Wilno after some months as a visiting observer at Stockholm Observatory, where she used the 40 cm astrograph to obtain low-resolution spectra of F-G-K (intermediate temperature) giants and dwarfs. She used these to calibrate spectrophotometry as a luminosity indicator when high-resolution spectra were not available.
Some of Iwanowska’s early student papers dealing with lunar occultations and comets were published in French. Indeed many of her publications are not very easy to find, having appeared in the Bulletin of the Polish Academy of Sciences and Publications of...