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Description

Highly detailed double hemisphere chart of the northern and southern skies, showing the various constellations, as catalogued by Sir Francis Baily, along with a third chart showing the constellations on a monthly basis, in reverse order, from March to April.

Sir Francis Baily was one of the leading English Astronomers of the first part of the 19th Century. After a tour in the unsettled parts of North America in 1796-1797, his journal of which was edited by Augustus de Morgan in 1856, he entered the London Stock Exchange in 1799. The successive publication of Tables for the Purchasing and Renewing of Leases (1802), of The Doctrine of Interest and Annuities (1808), and The Doctrine of Life-Annuities and Assurances (1810), earned him a high reputation as a writer on life-contingencies; he amassed a fortune through diligence and integrity and retired from business in 1825, to devote himself wholly to astronomy. He had already, in 1820, taken a leading part in the foundation of the Royal Astronomical Society. In 1827, the Society awarded him its Gold Medal for preparation of the Astronomical Society's Catalogue of 2881 stars. He was instrumental in the reform of the Nautical Almanac in 1829. In 1837, he recommended to the British Association and later worked extensively on the reduction of Joseph de Lalande's and Nicolas de Lacaille's catalogues containing about 57,000 stars. He also supervised the compilation of the British Association's Catalogue of 8377 stars (published 1845) and revised the catalogues of Tobias Mayer , Ptolemy, Ulugh Beg, Tycho Brahe, Edmund Halley and Hevelius. His notice of Baily's Beads, during an annular eclipse of the sun on May 15 1836, at Inch Bonney in Roxburghshire, started the modern series of eclipse-expeditions.