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Francis Baily

(1774—1844) stockbroker and astronomer


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(1774–1844) English stockbroker and astronomer. In 1826 he produced a catalogue containing highly accurate positions for 2881 stars. His published account of an annular eclipse he observed from Scotland in 1836 described ‘a row of lucid points, like a string of bright beads…running along the lunar disc with beautiful coruscations of light’, and he listed other observers who had previously seen the same thing. This phenomenon has since become known as Baily's beads. He is also noted for his editing of historical star catalogues including those of Ptolemy, Tycho Brahe, Hevelius, and Flamsteed.

From A Dictionary of Astronomy in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.


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