Giovanni Domenico Cassini

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Cassini, Giovanni Domenico


(Jean Dominique Cas-sini). Born June 8, 1625, in Perinaldo; died Sept. 14, 1712, in Paris. Astronomer. An Italian by birth. Member of the Paris Academy of Sciences (1669). Director of the Paris Observatory (from 1669).

Cassini discovered the rotation of Jupiter (1665) and Mars (1666), four new satillites of Saturn (1671–84), and the division of Saturn’s rings into an inner ring and an outer ring by a dark gap (the Cassini division). He also investigated the optical liberation of the moon. Cassini made the first reliable determination of the sun’s parallax from joint observations of Mars with the French astronomer J. Richer (9.5“-10.0”; modern value, 8.8”).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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The dark region seen in the image is called Cassini Regio, in honor of Giovanni Domenico Cassini, the Italian astronomer who discovered Iapetus in October 1671 and whose name also lends itself to the spacecraft that captured this image.
1712 Giovanni Domenico Cassini died, aged 87; an Italian-born French astronomer; appointed the first French Astronomer Royal; discovered four satellites of Saturn and correctly explained the unusual variability of Iapetus; noticed a division in Saturn's rings, now known as Cassini's division.
Saturn's moon Iapetus has long been known as two-faced, ever since Giovanni Domenico Cassini found in 1671 that it's much brighter when on the western side of its orbit than on the eastern side.
Astronomer-craftsmen like Giambattista Riccioli, Giovanni Domenico Cassini, and their colleagues revamped older meridiane or built splendid new ones to exacting specifications in San Petronio (Bologna) and Saint Sulpice (Paris), and Santa Maria degli Angeli (Rome), among several others.
Observations made there by astronomer Giovanni Domenico Cassini, and confirmed by independent observers, notes Heilbron, "amassed unimpeachable evidence" in favor of the Copernican theory that had been condemned by Pope Urban VII and the Inquisition only a quarter-century before.
After years spent in a frustrating search, renowned astronomer Giovanni Domenico Cassini must have wondered if he would die before seeing a legendary sunspot grace the heavens again.
Two other of Saturn's seven moons, Titan and Enceladus, also have oceans deep within them but the new data confirms the same to be true for Dione-discovered in 1684, along with three other of Saturn's moons, by Giovanni Domenico Cassini.  
Cassini was born with the Italian name Giovanni Domenico Cassini in the picturesque hilltop village of Perinaldo, 50 kilometers (30 miles) from Nice, then part of the Duchy of Savoy.
Ever since Giovanni Domenico Cassini discovered it in 1671, telescope users have marveled over Saturn's large outer satellite Iapetus.
Nor is the spot likely to disappear; it was observed by Giovanni Domenico Cassini as long ago as 1665, and one theoretical estimate gives a lifetime of 100,000 years.
In this location, the great 17th-century French astronomer Giovanni Domenico Cassini thought he saw a bright cloud that soon dissipated, leaving behind a newly formed crater.