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Nicolas Fabri De Peiresc, Astronomer
Middle Temple Library
Photograph - Photograph
Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc (1580-1637), French astronomer. Peiresc was born into a wealthy family at Aix-en-Provence. He studied at Toulon and Montpellier, graduating in law in 1605. Peiresc was a noted intellectual who corresponded with most of the great thinkers of the age. His own work was diverse, making important contributions to history, geography, egyptology, ecology and zoology. In 1610 his patron purchased a telescope and Peiresc used it to make observations of Jupiter's moons. In the same year he discovered the Orion Nebula. He coordinated observations of a lunar eclipse in 1635, and from the readings made accurate determinations of longitude. This engraving comes from Gassendi's biography of Pieresc published in 1651.
May 11th, 2013
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