Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Astronomy in the Special Collections

Our spotlight exhibition on astronomy ends this week in the Reading Room, and this is your last chance to see Joseph Jérôme Le Français de Lalande’s Astronomie (Paris : La veuve Desaint, 1792). Lalande (1732-1807) started his career in law, but a chance meeting with the astronomer Joseph-Nicolas Delisle (1688-1768) changed his focus to astronomy. A year later he was in Berlin, observing the parallax of the moon. He became a member of the Académie royale des sciences in 1753, and published on Halley’s comet and the planet Venus. He succeeded De Lisle as professor of astronomy in the Collège de France, and subsequently became director of the Paris Observatory. His is one of 72 names inscribed on the Eiffel Tower. 

Plate from Astronomie depicting a jovilabe, used to determine the periods of Jupiter's moons

Our copy was gifted by the author to Nevil Maskelyne (1732-1811), the fifth Astronomer Royal at Greenwich.
You can also view the spotlight exhibition in its entirety on the digital display wall in the Hardiman Foyer during the month of October.
If you would like to view this item, please contact the staff of the Special Collections Reading Room in the Hardiman Research Building at specialcollections@nuigalway.ie.

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