History of the Marseille Observatory


Marie-Louise Prévot, James Caplan, Marseille



The Marseille Observatory was founded in 1702 by the Jesuit order. It was located near the Vieux Port until the 1860s, when it was taken over as an annex to the Paris Observatory, directed by Le Verrier, and moved to its present location on the Plateau Longchamp. It again became independent in 1873. For information on the early history of the observatory we are largely indebted to F.X. von Zach, who spent several years in Marseille, and who was a good friend of J. Thulis, director from 1801 to 1810. Some aspects of the foundation and early history of the observatory, and of the lives of some of the astronomers who worked there, are presented and illustrated. Our collection of old instruments and documents are described.

Bibliographical details:

Marie-Louise Prévot, James Caplan: History of the Marseille Observatory. In: Peter Brosche, Wolfgang R. Dick, Oliver Schwarz, Roland Wielen (Eds.): The Message of the Angles - Astrometry from 1798 to 1998. Proceedings of the International Spring Meeting of the Astronomische Gesellschaft, Gotha, May 11-15, 1998. (Acta Historica Astronomiae ; 3). Thun ; Frankfurt am Main : Deutsch, 1998, p. 78-79.