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Joseph-Nicolas Delisle's relations with German astronomers and scientists when travelling to and from Russia (1725-26 and 1747)

 

Simone Dumont, Paris

 

Abstract

Upon request by Peter-the-Great, the French astronomer Joseph-Nicolas Delisle (1688-1768) left Paris in November 1725. During his voyage, he wanted to visit German colleagues and to have the opportunity to examine their instruments. His objective since several years was to collect original data of observations. When being in Nuremberg and Berlin, he made a search concerning the observations performed by Eimmart and G. Kirch, later in Danzig, he succeeded to buy Hevelius's manuscripts. After staying in Russia for 22 years, where he was the founder of the Petersburg Observatory, Delisle came back to France in the year 1747. During his return trip (two and a half months) he visited libraries in Prussia showing interest to their manuscripts and to some curiosities. Then in the surroundings of Wittenberg, he visited count von Löser's collection of instruments. In Berlin, he met the Feldmarschall von Schmettau and Grischow; but the previously seen colleagues were dead.

During all these years, Delisle had enlarged the circle of his acquaintances, which has been very useful to launch the "avertissements" to recommand observations of some peculiar astronomical phenomena. The expeditions in 1761 for the transit of Venus owe a lot to him.


Bibliographical details:

Simone Dumont: Joseph-Nicolas Delisle's relations with German astronomers and scientists when travelling to and from Russia (1725-26 and 1747). In: Peter Brosche, Wolfgang R. Dick, Oliver Schwarz, Roland Wielen (Eds.): The Message of the Angles - Astrometry from 1798 to 1998. Proceedings of the International Spring Meeting of the Astronomische Gesellschaft, Gotha, May 11-15, 1998. (Acta Historica Astronomiae ; 3). Thun ; Frankfurt am Main : Deutsch, 1998, p. 43-48.