Nicolas Louis de Lacaille


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Lacaille, Nicolas Louis de

 

Born May 15, 1713, in Rumigny, Ardennes Department; died Mar. 21, 1762, in Paris. French astronomer. Member of the Paris Academy of Sciences (1741).

In 1739–40, Lacaille verified the measurement of the extensive French arc from Dunkirk to Perpignan. From 1750 to 1754 he directed the astronomical expedition of the Paris Academy of Sciences to the Cape of Good Hope. He determined the position of 10,035 stars of the southern sky and measured arcs of the meridian greater than 1° and the acceleration of gravity. In 1758 he published solar tables that for the first time contained corrections for perturbations caused by the planets. Lacaille provided a method for determining cometary orbits and calculated the orbits of many comets. An exact value for the lunar parallax was obtained by comparing his observations of the moon in the southern hemisphere with similar observations made in Europe by J. Lalande.

WORKS

Astronomiae fundamenta novissimis solis et stellarum observationibus stabilita. Paris, 1757.
Coecum australe stalliferum. Paris, 1763.

REFERENCE

Berry, A. Kratkaia istoriia astronomii, 2nd ed. Moscow-Leningrad, 1946. (Translated from English.)
References in periodicals archive ?
It was discovered by French astronomer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille whilst observing from South Africa in 1752 and was catalogued three years later in 1755.
But the real show stopper in the Hydra constellation is the magnificent galaxy NGC 5236, better known as Messier 83, discovered by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille at the Cape of Good Hope in 1752.
The French astronomer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille first documented the stellar grouping around 1752, and some 26 years later another French astronomer, Charles Messier, included the cluster as the 55th entry in his famous astronomical catalogue.
Nicolas Louis de Lacaille found vast Argo unwieldy when making up his 1763 star catalog Colum Australe Stelliferum, commenting that it had more than 160 stars visible to the unaided eye.
The HPC system is named 'Fornax,' after the constellation in the southern hemisphere identified by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in 1756, and it will be used for solving data intensive problems for the radio astronomy community.
mathematician Nicolas Louis de Lacaille arrived at Africa's Cape of