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Nicole-Reine Lepaute - Windows to the Universe

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Nicole-Reine Lepaute

Nicole-Reine Etable de la Briere Hortense Lepaute was a French astronomer who lived between 1723-1788. In 1762, she calculated the exact time of a solar eclipse that was to occur in 1764. She wrote an article (published in Connaissance des temps) about this that gave a map of the eclipse's extent in 15-minute intervals across Europe.

Lepaute also made predictions for the return of Halley's Comet in 1759. She figured out how the gravitational effect of the planets would influence the comet's path.

Her husband, Jean Andre Lepaute was France's royal clockmaker.


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