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Solon Bailey

Solon Bailey's House

Solon Irving Bailey lived in Boylston at different times throughout his life and was a famous astronomer in the early 1900s. After graduating from Boston University, Bailey became a Professor at Harvard University in 1893. Bailey’s specialties were related to the Harvard Observatory and photometric work, a branch of the sciences that deals with the measurement of the intensity of light. Through his research, he was able to single handedly identify over 500 stars in the Omega Centauri cluster, more than what was previously known! He was also able to perform calculations to determine each star’s period and average magnitude.1

Another researcher followed in Bailey’s footsteps 25 years later, and with more advanced telescopes and technology was able to prove Bailey’s hand calculations were accurate to one-tenth of a second. Another one of Bailey’s notable works was his identification of a metallic asteroid, 504 Cora, located in the middle region of the asteroid belt.2

Bailey left his Boylston home to his son and only heir Irving Widmer Bailey, who had an extensive career in advancing botany in America and worked as an engineer in both of the World Wars.3

Solon Bailey's House

1A.J. Cannon, Biographical Memoir of Solon Irving Bailey 1854-1931, National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Biographical Memoirs, XV.