AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 37. HAD III: Biography of 19th and 20th Century Astronomers
Oral, Monday, January 6, 2003, 2:00-3:30pm, 613-614

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[37.03] The Wizard of Puget Sound: Dalmero Francis Brocchi (1871-1955)

T. R. Williams (Rice University)

Within a few years after the incorporation of the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO), Seattle resident Dalmero Francis Brocchi joined its ranks and became a substantial contributor to variable star astronomy. A railroad engineering draftsman by profession, Brocchi contributed very significantly to the development of the system of charts necessary to guide variable star observers. He was responsible for drafting over five hundred sets of comparison charts as well as for the creation of a useful AAVSO atlas. In addition to his prolific work in developing charts, Brocchi was a substantial contributor as an observer; he served on the AAVSO council as a vice-president and was chairman of the AAVSO Chart Committee for many years.

Brocchi was celebrated in the Seattle area for his knowledge of the night sky and for his well-constructed observatory. The observatory housed a 12-inch reflecting telescope that incorporated both an unusual set of optics and a completely unique telescope mounting.

This paper will discuss both Brocchi’s contributions to variable star astronomy and his unique telescope.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #4
© 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.