Reference Work Entry

Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

pp 138-140


Bailey, Solon Irving

BornLisbon, New Hampshire, USA, 29 December 1854

DiedNorwell, Massachusetts, USA, 5 June 1931

Solon Bailey, a prominent American astronomer in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, was known primarily for his discovery and study of variable stars in globular clusters, now known as RR Lyrae stars, and for his extensive long-exposure photographic surveys of southern skies and photometric catalog of southern stars.

After receiving an M.A. from Boston University, in 1884, and teaching at Tilton Academy for a short period, Bailey entered graduate studies at the Harvard College Observatory, where he earned a second M.A. in 1888.

In 1889, Edward Pickering, the Harvard College Observatory director, sent Bailey to survey the Andes Mountains for possible sites for a southern extension of the Harvard College Observatory. After several arduous years of travel up and down the Andes chain, Bailey recommended a site near Arequipa, Peru, as the best of several possible sites for an astronomic ...

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