de la Baume Pluvinel, Aymar Eugène
Born France, 6 November, 1860
Died France, 18 July, 1938
As early as 1882, the young Aymar Baume Pluvinel was part of a French expedition to Haiti, to observe the transit of Venus. His were the initial photographs of such an event made on silver-bromide plates. He went on to participate in nine solar eclipse expeditions, always as a volunteer.
At home, Baume Pluvinel was one of the first to use the new telescope built on Pic du Midi. His 1909 planetary photographs, the first made in nonvisible light, showed no evidence of Percival Lowell ’s Martian “canals.”
An instrument builder, Baume Pluvinel created the first automated, balloon-borne spectrograph, in order to identify telluric lines in the solar spectrum (1899). He also was the first to obtain cometary spectra using an objective prism (1907). Baume Pluvinel became a member of the French Academy of Sciences in 1932.
- Guillermier, P. and Koutchmy, S. (1999). Total Eclipses: Science, Observations, Myths, and Legends. London: Springer.Google Scholar