Paris Observatory foundation, 1667

Paris Observatory foundation, 1667

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Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Paris Observatory foundation. This French observatory, funded by King Louis XIV and his finance minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert, was designed by Claude Perrault and built during the period 1667 to 1672. The north-south orientation of the observatory (the future Paris Meridian) was marked on a stone by the founding astronomers (Auzout, Frenicle, Picard, Buot, and Richer) and members of the Royal Academy of Sciences during a ceremony on the 1667 summer solstice (21 June). This artwork, by French illustrator Leon Benett (1838-1917), is from Astronomical Myths (1877) by the British geologist John Frederick Blake (1839-1906).

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