Giovanni Cassini, Italian astronomer

Giovanni Cassini, Italian astronomer

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Credit: COLLECTION ABECASIS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Giovanni Cassini (1625-1712). 1854 illustration of the Italian astronomer Giovanni Domenico Cassini with an armillary sphere and a telescope. As director of the Paris Observatory, Cassini added greatly to the knowledge of the Solar System. He worked out the rotational periods of Jupiter Mars and Venus, discovered four new moons of Saturn, and observed the gap in Saturn's ring system (called the Cassini Division). He also produced the first accurate measurement of the distance between the Sun and the Earth. The Cassini space probe was named after him.

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