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Biographical entry Baracchi, Pietro Paolo Giovanni Ernesto (1851 - 1926)

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    Baracchi, Pietro Paolo Giovanni Ernesto Portrait

25 February 1851
Florence, Italy
23 July 1926
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


Pietro Baracchi was Government Astronomer of Victoria 1900-1915. He established a small observatory on Mount Stromlo in 1910 for the Commonwealth government.


Born Florence, Italy, 25 February 1851. Died Melbourne, 23 July 1926. Educated in civil engineering, Florence (?). Engineer, Italian Army; assistant, Melbourne Observatory 1876-77; draftsman, Victorian Lands & Survey Department 1877-82; passed land surveyor's examination with credit 1880; assistant, Melbourne Observatory 1882-83; third assistant, in charge of the Great Melbourne Telescope 1883-92; first assistant 1892-95; acting government astronomer 1895-1900; government astronomer 1900-15. Order of Knight Commander of the Crown of Italy 1897. President, Royal Society of Victoria 1908-09.

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Published resources

Book Sections

  • Perdrix, J. L., 'Baracchi, Pietro Paolo Giovanni Ernesto (1851-1926), astronomer', in Bede Nairn and Geoffrey Serle (eds), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 7, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1979, pp. 166-167. Also available at Details

Journal Articles

  • Baracchi, Pietro, 'On the rainfall of the State of Victoria (Paper & Discussion)', Proceedings of the Victorian Institute of Engineers vol. VI, 1906, pp. 97-118, 120-129. Also available at Details
  • Orchiston, Wayne, 'Comets and Communication: Amateur-Professional Tension in Australian Astronomy', Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia, vol. 16, 1999, pp. 212-221. Details
  • Smith, Robyn, 'Pietro Baracchi and His Sojourn in Port Darwin', Journal of Northern Territory History, vol. 22, 2011, pp. 89-96. Details

Online Resources

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Digital resources

Baracchi, Pietro Paolo Giovanni Ernesto Portrait


McCarthy, G.J.