Louise Gérard: 25 years fidelity to the Sun

In Dinant, one could see for many years a telescope in one of the backyards, pointing at the Sun. This observation station was run by the oldest SIDC observer.

Saturday, December 11, 2004 was a special day for the oldest SIDC contributing observer, Miss Louise Gérard. Being now 94 years old, Ms Gérard was celebrated for 25 years of continuous observations of the solar sunspots, in support of the SIDC network. She joined the observing network, as an amateur astronomer, when the World Data Center for the International Sunspot Number was moved from Zürich to Brussels under the impulse of A. Koeckelenbergh. She was then already 69, and since, she has accumulated more then 7000 solar drawings, using a simple 80mm telescope with the projection method, from her backyard in downtown Dinant, a picturesque city along the Meuse river in the Ardennes. Although she could not compete with the quality of other professional stations, Ms. Gérard definitely deserves credit for her assiduity that led to one of the longest individual records of the sunspot activity in the international network. Since last year, because of walking difficulties, she moved to a home for elderly people, where unfortunately, she can only observe through a window. However, she is still very motivated. On this special occasion, she was happy to receive a nice picture of the Sun … with sunspots! We wish her still many sunny years.




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