Lalande, Jérôme

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Lalande, Jérôme Gender: M
Joseph Hyérosme Lefrançois de Lalande
born on 11 July 1732 at 01:30 (= 01:30 AM )
Place Bourg en Bresse, France, 46n12, 5e13
Timezone LMT m5e13 (is local mean time)
Data source
Rodden Rating B
Collector: Scholfield
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_cancol.18.gif 18°49' s_mo.18.gif s_aqucol.18.gif 29°13 Asc.s_gemcol.18.gif 07°55'

Jérôme Lalande


French astronomer, freemason and writer, who published a corrected edition of Edmond Halley's tables in 1759, with a history of Halley's Comet whose return in that year he had helped Alexis Clairaut to calculate. In 1762 Joseph-Nicolas Delisle resigned the chair of astronomy in the Collège de France in Lalande's favour. The duties were discharged by Lalande for forty-six years. His house became an astronomical seminary, and amongst his pupils were Delambre, Giuseppe Piazzi, Pierre Méchain, and his own nephew Michel Lalande. By his publications in connection with the transit of Venus of 1769 he won great fame. However, his difficult personality lost him some popularity.

In 1766, Lalande, with Helvetius, founded the "Les Sciences" lodge in Paris, and received its recognition from Grand Orient de France in 1772. In 1776, he changed its name to Les Neuf Soeurs, and arranged for Benjamin Franklin to be chosen as the first worshipful master.

Although his investigations were conducted with diligence rather than genius, Lalande's career was an eminent one. As a lecturer and writer he helped popularise astronomy. His planetary tables, into which he introduced corrections for mutual perturbations, were the best available up to the end of the 18th century. In 1801, he endowed the Lalande Prize, administered by the French Academy of Sciences, for advances in astronomy. Pierre-Antoine Véron, the young astronomer who for the first time in history determined the size of the Pacific Ocean from east to west, was Lalande's disciple.

He died on 4 April 1807, aged 74, in Paris.

Link to Wikipedia biography



Source Notes

Sy Scholfield quotes from Un astronome des Lumières: Jérôme Lalande by Simone Dumont (Observatoire de Paris, 2007), p. 9: "Le 11 juillet 1732, naît à 1 heure 1/2 du matin, leur fils et semble-t-il leur seul enfant, qui est baptisé le lendemain Joseph Hyérosme, prénom de son parrain H. Rival, prêtre à Notre-Dame. Madeleine, sœur de la mère, est la marraine."

(On 11 July 1732, their son was born at 1:30 in the morning, apparently their only child, who was baptized the next day Joseph Hyérosme, the name of his godfather H. Rival, a priest at Notre-Dame. Madeleine, sister of his mother, was the godmother).

Grazia Bordoni's Science database has 4:30am, source unknown.


  • Vocation : Education : Teacher
  • Vocation : Science : Astronomy
  • Vocation : Writers : Textbook/ Non-fiction