- British astronomer
who described in 1836 the light effect called Baily's beads, observable
during a total eclipse of the Sun.
- Baily was born
in Newbury, Berkshire, and apprenticed to a firm of merchant bankers
in London; then he set out to explore unsettled parts of North America.
- On his return
to England in 1798 he became a stockbroker, but retired 1825 in favour
of full-time astronomy.
- Baily travelled
to Italy 1842 and was again able to see his beads during a solar eclipse.
- He was not the
first to have noticed the beads, but his description of the 1836 eclipse
was so exciting that it sparked a renewed and lasting interest in
- Baily began
to publish his astronomical observations 1811.
- He was the author
of an accurate revised star catalogue in which he plotted the positions
of nearly 3,000 stars.
- He also measured
the Earth's elliptical shape.