Date: 03 Sep 2014

Lacchini, Giovanni Battista

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BornFaenza (Emilia-Romagna), Italy, 20 May 1884

DiedItaly, 6 January 1967

Originally an Italian postal worker, Giovanni Lacchini became a professional astronomer when a special position was legislated just for him. Lacchini’s status was due to his enthusiasm for variable stars: He made observations of variables (53,000+) from locations all over Italy – even from moving trains between stations! Lacchini’s skill was such that he could estimate the brightness of a star visually to a tenth of a magnitude, using only one comparison star. He was the first international member of the American Association of Variable Star Observers [AAVSO] and was elected vice president of that organization.