Jean Delambre, French astronomer

Jean Delambre, French astronomer

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Jean Delambre (1749-1822), French astronomer. He published astronomical tables in 1792, predicting the orbits of the Sun, Saturn, Uranus, Jupiter and its satellites. Differences from the observed orbit of Uranus led to the discovery of a new planet, Neptune. In the 1790s he measured an arc of the meridian (an imaginary line on the surface of the globe connecting the North and South Poles) between Dunkirk and Barcelona. As well as being essential for map making, this established a basis for the new metric system. Engraving from Les Savants Modernes (1899).

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