By Johan C.-E. Stén
The Finnish mathematician and astronomer Anders Johan Lexell (1740–1784) was once a long-time shut collaborator in addition to the educational successor of Leonhard Euler on the Imperial Academy of Sciences in Saint Petersburg. Lexell was once in the beginning invited via Euler from his local city of Abo (Turku) in Finland to Saint Petersburg to help within the mathematical processing of the astronomical information of the drawing close transit of Venus of 1769. many years later he turned a typical member of the Academy. this can be the first-ever full-length biography dedicated to Lexell and his prolific medical output. His wealthy correspondence specially from his grand travel to Germany, France and England finds him as a lucid observer of the highbrow panorama of enlightened Europe. within the skies, a comet, a minor planet and a crater at the Moon named after Lexell additionally perpetuate his memory.
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Extra info for A Comet of the Enlightenment: Anders Johan Lexell's Life and Discoveries
These instruments are frequently mentioned in Lexell’s correspondence, and as knowledge of them cannot be taken for granted, we include here a brief introduction to them. The passage instrument is an apparatus for measuring the time when a fixed star passes through a certain vertical plane, usually the meridian. It consists of a small telescope adjusted in the meridian plane. 15 Passage instruments were usually found only in the bigger and better equipped observatories, those in Paris, Greenwich and Berlin.
The distance between two points having the same longitude) near the equator , but on its return ten years later the question was already considered more or less settled. 14 1 Setting the Scene Fig. 1 Three of the foremost mathematicians of the mid-1700s: Daniel Bernoulli, Leonhard Euler and Jean d’Alembert. Contemporary engravings (Public domain) time, “the great trio” composed of Daniel Bernoulli, Leonhard Euler and Jean d’Alembert , had come to realise that the differences were mainly a matter of notation, style and approach.
6, pp. 1–21. E118). 18 1 Setting the Scene and celestial mechanics. The description of this class fits, inter alios, Anders Johan Lexell and Johann Heinrich Lambert . Astronomers designing celestial globes and charts belonged to the 10th class, editors of astronomical almanacs and tables to the 11th class. — The astronomers par excellence, who mastered every theoretical aspect of astronomy to a perfection, belonged to the 12th class. This description seems to fit among others Joseph-Nicolas Delisle and Joseph Jérôme de Lalande.
A Comet of the Enlightenment: Anders Johan Lexell's Life and Discoveries by Johan C.-E. Stén