Solon Irving Bailey

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Solon Irving Bailey
Born (1854-12-29)December 29, 1854
Lisbon, New Hampshire
Died June 5, 1931(1931-06-05)
Boston, Massachusetts
Nationality American
Fields Astronomy, photography
Institutions Harvard University
Alma mater Boston University
Known for Establishing the Boyden Station

Solon Irving Bailey (December 29, 1854 in Lisbon, New Hampshire – June 5, 1931 in Norwell, Massachusetts) was an American astronomer[1] who discovered the asteroid 504 Cora on June 30, 1902.

He joined the staff of Harvard College Observatory in 1887. He received an M.A. from there in 1888 in addition to his previous M.A. from Boston University.[2]

After the observatory received the "Boyden Fund" bequest from the will of Uriah A. Boyden, Bailey played a major role in finding a site for "Boyden Station" in Arequipa, Peru, and was in charge of it from 1892 to 1919. He was also one of the first to carry out meteorological studies in Peru, traveling extensively in desolate areas at very high altitude. Boyden Station was moved to South Africa in 1927 due to better weather conditions and became known as the Boyden Observatory.

He made extensive studies of variable stars in globular clusters in the southern skies. He also measured the period of the light curve of 433 Eros during its 1903 opposition with great accuracy.

Bailey was acting director of Harvard College Observatory from 1919 to 1921 after the death of Edward Charles Pickering and prior to the appointment of Harlow Shapley. He worked as a senior colleague with Henrietta Swan Leavitt.[3] He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1892.[4]

Irving died at his summer home in Hanover, from an illness caused by heart disease, in 1931.[5]


  1. ^ "BAILEY, Solon Irving". The International Who's Who in the World: 61. 1912. 
  2. ^ Hockey, Thomas (2009). The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers. Springer Publishing. ISBN 978-0-387-31022-0. Retrieved August 22, 2012. 
  3. ^ Johnson, George (2005). Miss Leavitt's Stars: The Untold Story of the Woman Who Discovered How to Measure the Universe. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. p. 28. ISBN 0-393-05128-5. 
  4. ^ "Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter B" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 5 May 2011. 
  5. ^ (6 June 1931). Dr. Solon I. Bailey, Astronomer, Dead, The New York Times

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