Giovanni Cassini, Italian astronomer

Giovanni Cassini, Italian astronomer

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Caption: Giovanni Cassini (1625-1712), Italian astronomer. As director of the Paris Observatory, Cassini added greatly to our knowledge of the Solar System. He first worked out the rotational periods of Jupiter, Mars and Venus. He 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. This portrait is based on a sculpture by Jean-Guillaume Moitte, held in the Paris Observatory.

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