Nicolas Louis De La Caille. See La Caille.

Nicolas Louis De La Caille #1

Nicolas Louis De La Caille, a French astronomer, born at Rumigny, near Rheims, March 15, 1713, died in Paris, March 21, 1762. He was a pupil of Cassini in the observatory of Paris, assisted Maraldi in the survey of the coast between Nantes and Bayonne, and afterward (1739-'40) took part in the measurement of the arc of the meridian, correcting the results of Picard, and proving the flattening of the earth toward the poles. Being appointed professor of mathematics in the Mazarin college, he published (1741-'50) lectures on mathematics, mechanics, astronomy, and optics, which have passed through many editions. He next devoted himself to astronomical observations, both at his observatory and at the Cape of Good Hope. His catalogue of stars made at the latter station excited especial surprise from the quickness and accuracy of its formation. By simultaneous observations made by himself at the Cape and by Lalande at Berlin, he established the distance of the moon and of the planets Mars and Venus. While there he received orders to survey the island of Bourbon and the isle of France (Mauritius). On his return he investigated anew the problem of finding the longitude at sea, and proposed the modern plan of a nautical almanac.

In 1757 he published his Astronomice Fundamental in 1758, Tables solaires; and soon after, Bou-guer's treatise De la gradation de la lumiere, and a new edition of the Nouteau traite de navigation by the same author. After his death his friend Maraldi published his treatise on the "Southern Starry Heavens," and his " Voyage to the Cape." La Caille was the author of a large number of other treatises, chiefly on astronomical subjects.