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Astro*Dictionary by Michael Erlewine





1 article for "LaCaille, Nicholas"

LaCaille, Nicholas Louis de [Astro*Index]


(1713-1762) French astronomer. Born at Rumigny; died at Paris.

His expedition to the Cape of Good Hope (1750-1754), in conjunction with observations made by Lalande at Berline, was designed to determine an accurate value for the Moon's parallax. While in South Africa, he constructed a star catalogue of about 2000 southern stars, a star map (an improvement over Halley's), and supplied constellations for the southern skies, naming them for astronomical instruments. He also discovered Alpha Centauri, which for many years was considered our closest starry neighbor. (Proxima Centauri is closer.)

See also:
♦ Lalande, Joseph Jerome Le Francois de


Astro*Index Copyright © 1997 Michael Erlewine