Reference Work Entry

Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

pp 221-222


Bigourdan, Camille Guillaume

  • Jacques LévyAffiliated with 

BornSistels, Tarn-et-Garonne, France, 6 April 1851

DiedParis, France, 28 January 1932

French astrometrist Guillaume Bigourdan specialized in problems of precise measurement and dissemination of time and directed the Bureau international de l’heure [BIH] for the first decade of its existence. Bigourdan was the son of Pierre Bigourdan and Jeanne Carrière, part of a peasant family whose name derives from a seventh-century association with land owned by the Comté de Bigorre. He began school in the town of Valence d’Agen and continued in Toulouse, where his aptitude drew the attention of Francois Tisserand, then professor of astronomy and director of the Observatoire de Toulouse. Bigourdan joined the Toulouse staff in 1877 and went on to Paris in 1879 when Tisserand moved there, marrying Sophie, the eldest daughter of admiral Ernest Mouchez, with whom he had nine children.

Bigourdan completed a doctoral thesis with Tisserand on the effects of the “personal equation” (errors in determination of ...

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