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Giovanni Domenico Cassini: A Modern Astronomer in the 17th Century

Biography / Memoir

Series: Springer Biographies

By: Gabriella Bernardi(Author)

186 pages, 28 colour & 17 b/w illustrations, 20 tables


Hardback | Oct 2017 | #239038 | ISBN-13: 9783319634678
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1 week Details
NHBS Price: £27.99 $36/€31 approx

About this book

This book offers a fascinating account of the life and scientific achievements of Giovanni Domenico Cassini, or Cassini I, the most famous astronomer of his time, who is remembered today especially for his observations of the rings and satellites of Saturn and his earlier construction of the great meridian line in the Basilica of San Petronio in Bologna. The various stages of his life are recounted in an engaging style, from his early childhood in Perinaldo and his time at the famous Jesuit College in Genoa, to his later experiences in Bologna and Paris. The emphasis, however, is on the scientific side of his life.

Giovanni Domenico Cassini: A Modern Astronomer in the 17th Century explores his impressive body of work in diverse fields while also drawing attention to the international character of his endeavors, the rigor of his research, and his outstanding management skills, which combined to make him an early embodiment of the "European scientist." It was also these abilities that gained him the attention of the most powerful king in Europe, Louis XIV of France (the "Sun King"), under the auspices of whom he set up the Paris Observatory in 1671. He would go on to serve as Director of the Observatory, where he would make the majority of his scientific discoveries, for the rest of his life.


1. Introduction

Part I: Liguria
2. Perinaldo, Land of Astronomers
3. Genoa and the College of the Jesuits

Part II: Bologna
4. Castle of Panzano
5. Archiginnasio
6. Comet 1652, the First
7. The Meridian Line or Heliometer in the Church Basilica of San Petronio
8. Superintendent of Public Waters
9. Queen and the Comet
10. And the Winner is.
11. Jupiter et al.
12. Ephemerides Bonomienses Mediceorum Syderum

Part III: Paris
13. Louis XIV
14. The New Observatory
15. Sunspots
16. Saturn
17. Jean Dominique Cassini
18. Cassini Maps
19. Journey to Italy
20. Cassini Dynasty
21. Nephews Maraldi
22. Cassini Curiosity
23. Conclusion

Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C
Appendix D
Appendix E


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Gabriella Bernardi holds a degree in Physics and a Master's degree in Scientific Communication. After having worked at Alenia Spazio in Turin (Rosetta mission), she decided to devote her energies to science, and especially astronomy. She is currently a freelance journalist for magazines and periodicals, as well as a scientific blogger. She is a member of the Unione dei Giornalisti Scientifici Italiani (UGIS) and the European Union of Scientific Journalists' Association (EUSJA). Gabriella won an Italian award for popular science journalism, and is the author of three books in Italian that aim to popularize astronomy for children and young people. In 2016 she published The Unforgotten Sisters: Female Astronomers and Scientists before Caroline Herschel with Springer.

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