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 May 12, 1910, when Benjamin Baillaud made a visit.
Next to his name, Édouard Benjamin Baillaud (1848-1934) wrote simply, “Paris.” This was his first of several visits to the Vatican Observatory over many years.
From 1878 to 1907, he served as director of the Tolouse Observatory, and from 1907-1926 he was director of the Paris Observatory. When he became director of the Paris Observatory, he undertook the revitalization of the Carte du Ciel project, which had been flagging.
Baillaud was the founding president of the International Astronomical Union in 1919.
He was also the founding president of the International Time Bureau. He was responsible for the time signal broadcast from the Eiffel Tower.
There is a crater bearing his name on the Moon, as well as the asteroids 1280 Baillauda and 11764 Benbaillaud.