Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V05, Page 459 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JACQUES DOMINIQUE CASSINI, Count (1748-1845), son of Cesar Francois Cassini, was born at the observatory of Paris on the 3oth of June 1748. He succeeded in 1784 to the directorate of the observatory; but his plans for its restoration and re-equipment were wrecked in 1793 by the animosity" of the National Assembly. His position having become intolerable, he resigned on the 6th of September, and was thrown into prison in 1794, but released after seven months. He then withdrew to Thury, where he died, aged ninety-seven, on the 18th of October 1845. He published in 1770 an account of a voyage to America in 1768, undertaken as the commissary of the Academy of Sciences with a view to testing Pierre Leroy's watches at sea. A memoir in which he described the operations superintended by him in 1787 for connecting the observatories of Paris and Greenwich by longitude-determinations appeared in 1791. He visited England for the purposes of the work, and saw William Herschel at Slough. He completed his father's map of France, which was published by the Academy of Sciences in 1793. It served as the basis for the Atlas National (179,), showing France in departments. Count Cassini's Memoires pour servir a l'histoire de l'observatoire de Paris (181o) embodied portions of an extensive work, the prospectus of which he had submitted to the Academy of Sciences in 1774. The volume included his 'Doges of several academicians, and the autobiography of his great-grandfather, the first Cassini. See J. F. S. Devic, Histoire de la vie et des travaux de J. D. Cassini (1851); J. Delambre, Histoire de l'astronomie au XVIII' siecle, pp. 309-313; Phil. Mag. 3rd series, vol. xxviii. p. 412; C. Wolf, Histoire de l'observatoire de Paris (1902), p. 234 et passim. (A. M. C.)

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