Professor celebrates 100th birthday

Professor Vincio Barocas
Professor Vincio Barocas

The man who ran Preston’s Jeremiah Horrocks observatory and set up of the Wilfred Hall observatory at Alston, near Longridge, has marked his milestone 100th birthday with a party at his Preston home.

Professor Vinicio Barocas, who obtained his doctorate at the University of Florence, fled to England from fascist Italy in 1939.

During the early part of the Second World War he was imprisoned in a Canadian camp but, classed as a friendly alien, was returned to England where he joined the staff of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, working in the time department from 1941 to 1949.

Professor Barocas came to Preston in July 1949 to become director of the observatory in Moor Park.

He later founded the observatory at Alston which became the main teaching centre for astronomy and astrophysics at the University of Central Lancashire.

Professor Barocas, who has made many contributions to studies of the sun, also held the post of president of the British Astronomical Association 1970-72.