Marcel De Kerolyr

by catcher Thursday, July 19, 2012 11:26 PM

'The Greatest Astrophotographer' ?

Born 1873
Died 1969

We do not know for certain when Marcel De Kerolyr was born  According to Richardot, he died in 1969 in a nursing home on the Cote D’Azur, France, but of this we too cannot be certain. A search of the usual Genealogical sources reveals nothing of him or his family.

The International Genealogical Index does not have a single entry for the surname De Kerolyr or Kerolyr, nor do any of the large internet family history databases. Marcel De Kerolyr is a shadowy figure as ghostly and as difficult to capture as the nebulae he photographed. He does however, show himself through his work and his photographs. We unfortunately have to be content with this alone.

Today, Marcel De Kerolyr is almost forgotten, yet in the 1930s he was the most celebrated astronomical photographer of that time. His magnificent images adorned the pages of the leading astronomical journals and magazines during this period, including the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, L’Astronomie and the Astrophysical Journal.

It is a sad indictment on the Paris Observatory that it neither gave De Kerolyr an official position nor did it even bother to ensure that a fitting obituary was published given his outstanding contributions in the field of astronomical photography. He did not deserve such shabby treatment by those he had served so well.

He has a legitimate claim to the title of the 'Greatest Astrophotographer' who ever lived.

To read more on his life and work read the eBook chapter on Marcel De Kerolyr or buy the Book 'Catchers of the Light'.

'Horsehead' Nebula Region of Orion, Marcel De Kerolyr, 80cm Reflector, c1932

Buy the eBook or Printed Book at the 'Catchers of the Light' shop.


Pioneers of Astrophotography

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Stefan Hughes began his career as a professional astronomer, gaining a 1st Class Honours degree in Astronomy from the University of Leicester in 1974 and his PhD four years later on the 'Resonance Orbits of Artificial Satellites due to Lunisolar Perturbations', which was published as a series of papers in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. After graduating he became a Research fellow in Astronomy, followed by a spell as a lecturer in Applied Mathematics at Queen Mary College, London. Then came a ten year long career as an IT Consultant. In 'mid life' he spent several years retraining as a Genealogist, Record Agent and Architectural Historian, which he practiced for a number of years before moving to the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, where for the past ten years he has been imaging the heavens, as well as researching and writing the 'Catchers of the Light' - A History of Astrophotography.