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Death of Giovanni Domenico Cassini

Posted in Anniversary, Science, Space on Tuesday, 31 August 2010

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picture, Saturn planet, Cassini division

The planet Saturn – the Cassini Division clearly seen in its rings. Illustration by Wilf Hardy

11 September marks the anniversary of the death of Italian astronomer Giovanni Domenico Cassini in 1712. Born in Perinaldo, Italy, in 1625, Cassini was a professor of astronomy at the university of Bologna and, in 1671, became director of the Paris Observatory. Over a period of years, Cassini observed four moons of Saturn: Iapetus in 1671, Rhea in 1672, Tethys and Dione (both in 1684). Cassini also discovered the gap between the rings of Saturn that now carry his name.

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