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|Alma mater||Pierre and Marie Curie University|
|Known for||International expert in astrometry and associated standards|
|Awards||Descartes Prize, Struve Medal|
In 1969, Capitaine received a bachelor's degree ("licence") from the Faculty of Sciences in Paris. (She was thus one of the last graduates of this subdivision of the university before its re-organization in the wake of the Paris disturbances of 1968.) In 1970 she graduated with a degree in astronomy from Pierre and Marie Curie University. The same year she joined the Paris Observatory as an assistant. She then held several positions there before becoming an astronomer in charge of research. In 1972, she received a PhD in astronomy at the Pierre and Marie Curie University. In 1982, she wrote her habilitation thesis, giving her the status of direct researcher. In 1985, she became deputy director of the department of fundamental astronomy at the Paris Observatory. She became the director in 1993. Her scientific activity was carried out mainly within the framework of the Space Geodesy Research Group (GRGS), as well as various working groups of the International Astronomical Union. In 2002, still at the Paris Observatory, she became a full-time astronomer in the SYRTE department (Space Time Reference Systems). In 2013, she retired and became an emeritus astronomer.
Her work, carried out in the framework of a large international cooperation, led to a better definition of reference systems and time scales for astronomy, as well as to a better knowledge of the rotation of the Earth. They have also led to the adoption by the IAU and IUGG (International Geodesic and Geophysical Union) of new parameters and models for astronomy and geodesy, which are essential for many applications to space dynamics and the dynamics of the solar system.