ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Francis Baily (1744-1844), English astronomer. Baily earned his fortune at the London Stock Exchange, allowing him to retire in 1825 and devote himself to astronomy. He had been involved in the foundation of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1820, and went on to win the society's gold medal twice. He compiled one star catalogue and assisted with the preparation of several others, and initiated the reform of the Nautical Almanac. He made observations of a solar eclipse, describing the beads of light that shine through the mountains and valleys of the moon's surface. This phenomenon became known as Baily's beads.
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