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.


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


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 first systematic southern deep-sky catalogue was compiled in 1753 by Abbe Nicolas Louis de Lacaille, in Cape Town.
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.
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.
Double stars, Cepheid variable stars, Viewing galaxies, Black holes, Main-sequence stars, Globular clusters, Discovery of Proxima, Extra-solar planets, Open star clusters, Sub-giant stars, Nebulae, Yellow-dwarf star, Barred spiral galaxies, Galaxies and time, Close double stars, Coloured double stars, Super galaxy clusters, Mira variable stars, Giant stars, Carbon stars, Observing double stars, Solar type stars, Nicolas Louis de Lacaille, Astrophotography, Light year, Sub-dwarf stars, Venial equinox, Hot Jupiters, Delta-Scuti variable star, Apparent brightness.