Bernard Lyot – Born 27 Feb 1897; died 2 Apr 1952
Bernard Lyot was a French astronomer who invented the coronagraph (1930), an instrument which allows the observation of the solar corona when the Sun is not in eclipse. Earlier, using his expertise in optics, Lyot made a very sensitive polariscope to study polarization of light reflected from planets.
Observing from the Pic du Midi Observatory, he determined that the lunar surface behaves like volcanic dust, that Mars has sandstorms, and other results on the atmospheres of the other planets.
Modifications to his polarimeter created the coronagraph, with which he photographed the Sun’s corona and its analyzed its spectrum. He found new spectral lines in the corona, and he made (1939) the first motion pictures of solar prominences.