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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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Jacques d'Allonville

aka: Chevalier de Louville
bornactivedied
1671, Jul 141692-17281732, Sep 10
an astronomer and mathematician. He concluded in his measurements taken during his stay in Marseille that the tilt on the axis of earth was not constant all the time.
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Heinrich d'Arrest

aka: Heinrich Ludwig d'Arrest
bornactivedied
1822, Aug 131846-18641875, Jun 14
a German astronomer, born in Berlin, involved in the search for Neptune, discovered a comet, and studied asteroids and nebulae. In 1864 D'Arrest made an unsuccessful search for Martian satellites, and posited an upper limit of 70 minutes of arc as the distance from Mars within which a moon should be sought.
Timeline (1)Links (1)


Antoine Darquier de Pellepoix

borndied
1718, Nov 231802, Jan 18
a French astronomer. He has usually been credited with the discovery of the Ring Nebula in 1779, but in fact he independently rediscovered it upon reading a report of Charles Messier regarding Messier's own observations of Comet Bode. His description that the object was "...as large as Jupiter and resembles a planet which is fading" led to the terminology "p...
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William Rutter Dawes

bornactivedied
1799, Mar 191849-18641868, Feb 15
an English astronomer who made extensive measurements of double stars as well as observations of planets. He made extensive drawings of Mars during its 1864 opposition. In 1867, Richard Anthony Proctor made a map of Mars based on these drawings.
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Annibale de Gasparis

bornactivedied
1819, Nov 91849-18891892, Mar 21
an Italian astronomer who discovered nine asteroids. He won the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1851. Awarded the Lalande Prize in 1851 and 1852. From 1864 to 1889 he was the director of the Astronomical Observatory of Capodimonte in Naples.
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Cross-listed in Writers

John Dee

borndied
1527, Jul 131609 ca
an English mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, occult philosopher, imperialist, and adviser to Queen Elizabeth I. He devoted much of his life to the study of alchemy, divination, and Hermetic philosophy. One of the most learned men of his age, he had been invited to lecture on the geometry of Euclid at the University of Paris while still in his early twen...
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Cross-listed in ArtistsArchitects

Deodat del Monte

aka: van der Mont, Deodatus Delmont
borndied
1582, Sep1644, Nov 24
a Flemish Baroque painter, architect, engineer, astronomer, and art dealer who was part of the inner circle of Peter Paul Rubens. It is believed that he became a pupil of Rubens between 1598 (the year in which Rubens became a master) and 1600. He possibly studied under another master before becoming Rubens’ pupil. He also worked as an architect and militar...
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Cross-listed in Writers

Jean Baptiste Joseph Delambre

bornactivedied
1749, Sep 191788-18221822, Aug 19
a French mathematician and astronomer. He was also director of the Paris Observatory, and author of well-known books on the history of astronomy from ancient times to the 18th century.
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Charles-Eugene Delaunay

aka: Charles-Eugène
bornactivedied
1816, Apr 91855-18721872, Aug 5
a French astronomer and mathematician. His lunar motion studies were important in advancing both the theory of planetary motion and mathematics. His infinite series expression for finding the position of the Moon converged too slowly to be of practical use but was a catalyst in the development of functional analysis and computer algebra.
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Cross-listed in Cartographers

Joseph-Nicolas Delisle

bornactivedied
1688, Apr 41712-17631768, Sep 11
a French astronomer and cartographer. From 1719 to 1722 he was employed at the Royal observatory, before returning to his observatory at the Luxembourg Palace. In 1725 when he was called by the Russian czar Peter the Great to Saint Petersburg to create and run the school of astronomy.
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Thomas Digges

bornactivedied
1546 ca1572-15941595, Aug 24
an English mathematician and astronomer. He was the first to expound the Copernican system in English but discarded the notion of a fixed shell of immoveable stars to postulate infinitely many stars at varying distances; he was also first to postulate the "dark night sky paradox".
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Cross-listed in Cartographers

Jeremiah Dixon

borndied
1733, Jul 271779, Jan 22
an English surveyor and astronomer who is best known for his work with Charles Mason, from 1763 to 1767, in determining what was later called the Mason–Dixon line. Jeremiah Dixon served as assistant to Charles Mason in 1761 when the Royal Society selected Mason to observe the transit of Venus from Sumatra. However, their passage to Sumatra was delayed, and...
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Giovanni Battista Donati

bornactivedied
1826, Dec 161852-18731873, Sep 20
an Italian astronomer on the staff of the Observatory of Florence (later its director) and pioneered spectroscopy of comets to determine their physical composition.
Timeline (2)Links (1)


James Dunlop

bornactivedied
1793, Oct 311810-18471848, Sep 22
a Scottish astronomer, noted for his work in Australia. He served as astronomer's assistant at a private observatory Dunlop was mostly a visual observer, doing stellar astrometry work, then independently discovered and catalogued many new telescopic southern double stars and deep-sky objects. He later became the Superintendent of Paramatta Observatory when i...
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