Since its founding in 1891, many people have passed through the doors of the Vatican Observatory. A quick perusal of our guestbook reveals several Names, including Popes, nobel laureates, astronauts, actors, and saints.
Today’s guestbook entry is from March 30, 1912, when Russell T. Crawford made a visit.
Next to his name, Russell Tracy Crawford (1876-1958) wrote, “University of California, Berkeley, Calif. U.S.A.” He was an astronomer who spent most of his career at U.C. Berkeley.
His interest in astronomy began at a young age; he had joined an eclipse expedition at age twelve. He earned the University of California’s first Ph.D. in astronomy, based on research conducted at Lick Observatory. (He also had one of the first fellowships granted by the observatory.)
He became president of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific in 1914, and also served as chair of the International Astronomical Union (IAU)’s Committee on Calendar Reform.
He is the author of The Determination of Orbits of Comets and Asteroids (1930), which served as a standard reference for many years.
At the time of his visit to the Specola, he was spending the academic year devoted to advanced study at the University of Berlin.