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Humans have gazed at the night sky for thousands of years, and found it pretty interesting. They learned that you could navigate using the celestial map and, over time, also learned that certain events could be predicted. These learned people were quite prized by their brethren, and their endeavors helped advance our understanding of the world.
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Cross-listed in ComposersWritersEducators

Sethus Calvisius

borndied
1556, Feb 211615, Nov 24
a German music theorist, composer, chronologer, astronomer, and teacher of the late Renaissance. He published a book on music, Melodiae condendae ratio (Erfurt, 1592). He composed choral pieces including Unser Leben währet siebzig Jahr. Calvisius was also a significant astronomer: in his Opus Chronologicum (Leipzig, 1605, 7th ed. 1685) ...
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Cross-listed in WritersPhysiciansInventorsScientists

Gerolamo Cardano

borndied
1501, Sep 241576, Sep 21
an Italian polymath, whose interests and proficiencies ranged from being a mathematician, physician, biologist, physicist, chemist, astrologer, astronomer, philosopher, writer, and gambler. He was one of the most influential mathematicians of the Renaissance, and was one of the key figures in the foundation of probability and the earliest introducer of the b...
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Richard Christopher Carrington

bornactivedied
1826, May 261848-18731875, Nov 27
an English amateur astronomer whose 1859 astronomical observations demonstrated the existence of solar flares as well as suggesting their electrical influence upon the Earth and its aurorae; and whose 1863 records of sunspot observations revealed the differential rotation of the Sun.
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Giovanni Cassini

bornactivedied
1625, Jun 81648-16831712, Sep 14
an Italian mathematician, astronomer, astrologer and engineer, born in Perinaldo, known for his work in the fields of astronomy and engineering. Cassini most notably discovered four satellites of the planet Saturn and noted the division of the rings of Saturn (with the Cassini Division becoming named after him). Giovanni Domenico Cassini was also the first o...
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Jacques Cassini

bornactivedied
1677, Feb 181696-17401756, Apr 16
a French astronomer, son of the famous Italian astronomer Giovanni Domenico Cassini. He published the first tables of the satellites of Saturn in 1716, wrote Eléments d'astronomie (1740), and died at Thury, near Clermont.
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Cross-listed in Writers

Jean-Dominique Cassini

aka: comte de Cassini
bornactivedied
1748 Jun 301768-18101845, Oct 18
a French astronomer, he succeeded his father as director of the observatory. He published in 1770 an account of a voyage to America in 1768, undertaken as the commissary of the French Academy of Sciences with a view to testing Pierre Le Roy’s watches at sea.
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Cross-listed in WritersCartographers

Cesar-Francois Cassini de Thury

aka: César-François, Cassini III
bornactivedied
1714, Jun 171735-17841784, Sep 4
a French astronomer and cartographer. His chief works are: La méridienne de l’Observatoire Royal de Paris (1744), a correction of the Paris meridian; Description géométrique de la terre (1775); and Description géométrique de la France (1784), which was completed by his son ("Cassini IV").
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Bonaventura Cavalieri

bornactivedied
15981632-16471647, Nov 30
an Italian mathematician and a Jesuat. He is known for his work on the problems of optics and motion, work on indivisibles, the precursors of infinitesimal calculus, and the introduction of logarithms to Italy. Cavalieri's principle in geometry partially anticipated integral calculus.
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Cross-listed in InventorsScientists

Anders Celsius

bornactivedied
1701, Nov 271730-17441744, Apr 25
a Swedish astronomer, physicist and mathematician, professor of astronomy at Uppsala University, founder of the Uppsala Astronomical Observatory and proposed the Celsius temperature scale which bears his name.
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Giuseppe Cervellini

borndied
17451824
an Italian composer and organist. He was influenced by the Viennese classicism of Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven. He was the organist at the Cathedral of Cividale del Friuli (reported between 1765 and 1780), and in this period had dealings with Giovanni Battista Martini and lived in Salzburg . Later he led a wandering life in the 1792's in Warsaw as a music te...
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Jean Chacornac

bornactivedied
1823, Jun 211853-18601873, Sep 23
a French astronomer, born in Lyon, died in St Jean en Royans. Working in Marseille and Paris, he discovered six asteroids and the comet Chacornac C/1852 K1 which may be the source of the current Eta Eridanids meteors.
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James Challis

bornactivedied
1803, Dec 121825-18701882, Dec 3
an English clergyman, physicist and astronomer. Plumian Professor and director of the Cambridge Observatory, he investigated a wide range of physical phenomena though made few lasting contributions outside astronomy. He is best remembered for his missed opportunity to discover the planet Neptune in 1846.
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Cross-listed in ArtistsInventors

Alvan Clark

bornactivedied
1804, Mar 81830s-18871887, Aug 19
an American astronomer and telescope maker. He was a portrait painter and engraver (c.1830s-1850s), and at the age of 40 became involved in telescope making. Using glass blanks made by Chance Brothers of Birmingham and Feil-Mantois of Paris, his firm Alvan Clark & Sons ground lenses for refracting telescopes, including the largest in the world at the time.
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Cross-listed in Writers

Nicolaus Copernicus

bornactivedied
1473, Feb 191503-15431543, May 24
a Renaissance mathematician and astronomer who formulated a model of the universe that placed the Sun rather than the Earth at the center of the universe. The publication of this model in his book De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres) just before his death in 1543 is considered a major event in the history of scien...
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