Bernard Ferdinand Lyot was a French astronomer.
His interest in astronomy started in 1914. He soon acquired a 4-inch telescope and soon upgraded to a 6-inch. From graduation in 1918 until 1929, he worked as a demonstrator at the Ã‰cole Polytechnique. He studied engineering, physics, and chemistry at the University of Paris, and from 1920 until his death he worked for the Meudon Observatory. In 1930 he earned the title of Joint Astronomer of the Observatory. After gaining the title, he earned a reputation of being an expert of polarized and monochromatic light. Throughout the 1930s, he labored to perfect the coronagraph, which he invented to observe the corona without having to wait for a solar eclipse. In 1938, he showed a movie of the corona in action to the International Astronomical Union. In 1939, he was elected to the French Academy of Sciences. He became Chief Astronomer at the Meudon Observatory in 1943 and received the Bruce Medal in 1947. He suffered a heart attack while returning from an eclipse expedition in Sudan and died on 2 April 1952, at the age of 55.