|Giovanni Domenico Cassini|
Birthplace: Perinaldo, Italy
Location of death: Paris, France
Cause of death: unspecified
Religion: Roman Catholic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Executive summary: Italo-French astronomer
Italo-French astronomer, born at Perinaldo near Nice on the 8th of June 1625. Educated by the Jesuits at Genoa, he was nominated in 1650 professor of astronomy in the University of Bologna; he observed and wrote a treatise on the comet of 1652; was employed by the senate of Bologna as hydraulic engineer; and appointed by Pope Alexander VII inspector of fortifications in 1657, and subsequently director of waterways in the papal states. His determinations of the rotation periods of Jupiter, Mars and Venus in 1665-67 enhanced his fame; and Louis XIV applied for his services in 1669 at the stately observatory then in course of erection at Paris. Pope Clement IX reluctantly assented, on the understanding that the appointment was to be temporary; but it proved to be irrevocable. Cassini was naturalized as a French subject in 1673, having begun work at the observatory in September 1671. Between 1671 and 1684 he discovered four Saturnian satellites, and in 1675 the division in Saturn's ring; made the earliest sustained observations of the zodiacal light, and published, in Les ÉlÉments de l'Astronomie Vérifiés (1684), an account of Jean Richer's (1630-1696) geodetical operations in Cayenne. Certain oval curves which he proposed to substitute for Johannes Kepler's ellipses as the paths of the planets were named after him "Cassinians." He died at the Paris observatory on the 11th of September 1712.
Professor: Astronomy, University of Bologna
Naturalized French Citizen 1673
Martian Crater Cassini
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