In company with Father Walter Sidgreaves, he made magnetic surveys, in 1868, of Western, in 1869 of Eastern, France, and in 1871 of Belgium. In 1870 he went in charge of a government expedition to observe a solar eclipse at Cadiz; at Carriacou (West Indies) in 1886; in Moscow in 1887; and at the Îles du Salut in 1889, on which journey he died.
In 1874 he headed a party similarly sent to Kerguelen in the South Indian Ocean, to observe a transit of Venus, when he also took a series of observations to determine the absolute longitude of the place, and others for the magnetic elements, not only at Kerguelen itself, but, on his way to and fro, at the Cape, Bombay, Aden, Port Said, Malta, Palermo, Rome, Naples, Florence, and Moncalieri. He likewise drew up a Blue-book on the climate of "The Isle of Desolation", as Kerguelen was called by Captain Cook.
In 1882 he went again with Sidgreaves, to observe a similar transit in Madagascar, and he again took advantage of the occasion for magnetic purposes. In 1874 he became a Fellow of the Royal Society.
At Stonyhurst, while he greatly developed the meteorological work of the observatory, and in the province of astronomy made frequent observations of Jupiter's satellites, of stellar occultations, of comets, and of meteorites, it was in the department of solar physics that he specially laboured, particular attention being paid to sun spots and faculae. For observation in illustration of these an ingenious method was devised and patiently pursued.
Father Perry was much in request as a lecturer. He died on an eclipse expedition. The observation on this occasion was successful, and Father Perry, though already ill, managed to perform his part without interruption. As soon as it was over, however, he became alarmingly worse, and having gotten on board HMS Comus, which had been detained for the service, he died at sea five days later, 27 December 1889. He was buried in the Catholic cemetery at Georgetown, Demerara.
Read more about this topic: Stephen Joseph Perry
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