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Lepaute, Nicole-Reine

lalande sun moon french

née Etable de Labrière [luhpoht] (1723–88) French astronomical computer.

Married to Jean-André Lepaute (1720–1789), the royal clockmaker, Nicole-Reine Lepaute investigated oscillations of pendulums of different lengths; the result of this work was included in her husband’s Traité d’horlogerie (1755). She was employed by J J Lalande (1732–1807), director of the Paris Observatory, to assist A-C Clairaut (1713–65) to determine the extent of the gravitational attraction of Jupiter and of Saturn on comet and the exact time of its return in 1759. Lalande gave Lepaute full credit for her work. She calculated the path of the 1764 eclipse of the Sun for all of Europe and the resultant chart was published by the French government. During 1759–74 she helped Lalande with the annual Connaissance des temps (an almanac for the use of astronomers and navigators published by the Académie des Sciences), and from 1774–83 she worked on the seventh and eighth volumes of the Ephemeris , making the computations for the positions of the Sun, Moon and planets covering the decade to 1784 and the period up to 1792. A crater on the Moon is named after her.

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almost 7 years ago

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