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Toulouse Observatory

The Toulouse Observatory (French: Observatoire de Toulouse) is located in Toulouse, France and was established in 1733.[1]

Toulouse Observatory
Observatoire de Toulouse.jpg
Facade of the main building
Observatory code004
LocationToulouse, France
Coordinates43°36′44″N 1°27′46″E / 43.61233°N 1.46278°E / 43.61233; 1.46278Coordinates: 43°36′44″N 1°27′46″E / 43.61233°N 1.46278°E / 43.61233; 1.46278
Established1733, 1841, 1981
Toulouse Observatory is located in France
Toulouse Observatory
Location of Toulouse Observatory
Commons page Related media on Wikimedia Commons

It was founded by l'Académie des Sciences, Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres de Toulouse ("Academy of Science, Inscriptions and the Humanities of Toulouse"). It was moved 1841 and again in 1981.[citation needed]

In 1987, Genevieve Soucail of the Toulouse Observatory and her collaborators presented data of a blue ring-like structure in Abell 370 and proposed a gravitational lensing interpretation[2]

In the 1990s the observatory worked on MEGACAM with several other institutions.[3]


Félix Tisserand was a famous director from 1873 to 1878. He published Recueil d'exercices sur le calcul infinitesimal as well as making several expeditions, including an 1874 trip to Japan. Henri Joseph Anastase Perrotin was Tisserand's assistant astronomer, and they both went to the Paris Observatory in 1878. Tisserand was succeeded by Benjamin Baillaud.

Director Life span Years of directorship
Frédéric Petit 1810–1865 1838–1865
Théodore Despeyrous 1815–1883 1865–1866
Pierre Daguin 1814–1884 1866–1870
Félix Tisserand 1845–1896 1873–1878
Benjamin Baillaud 1848–1934 1878–1907
Eugène Cosserat 1866–1931 1908–1931
Emile Paloque 1891–1982 1931–1960
Roger Bouigues 1920–  1961–1971
Jean Rösch 1915–1999 1971–1981

History & TelescopesEdit

The 83 cm (32.7 in) reflecting telescope of Toulouse, 1935

The observatory was originally founded in 1733.[4] Launch instruments at the observatory included two refractors and 28 inch quadrant, and one clock.[5][6] By 1840 and additional clock by Julien le Roi of Paris was added.[5]

Among the early observations at the observatory were the 1736 and 1743 transits of Mercury.[6] These observations were conducted by Garipuy, who also observed the transit of Mercury in 1753.[6] Garipuy also built and observatory in his house and conducted observations from there.[6]

By 1770 a new larger observatory was established and again in the 1840s.[7]

In 1871-1873 Toulouse observatory switched from being a municipal to provincial observatory.[8]

In 1873 a 4.5 inch (10.8 cm) refractor by Secretan was added to the Observatory.[9]

In 1875 a reflecting telescope by Henry Brothers was added.[10][11] The 83 centimetres (33 in) diameter aperture was a reflecting telescope (i.e. mirror) mounted on an equatorial.[10] In 1880 the reflector was re mounted on a cast iron design by Gautier, replacing the wood mounting.[8]

Also in 1880 a new refractor (lens) was acquired, a 9 inch (22 cm) aperture by Brunner.[8] Several other instruments were added at this time, and in the early 1900s a new telescope for the Pic Du Midi mountaintop observatory was also added.[8]

In the 1880s Toulouse Observatory sent some of its oldest instruments to a museum.[12] This included a transit instrument by Lennel dating to 1774, Dollond telescope, and several quadrants.[12]

The observatory participated in the Carte Du Ciel project, recording over a thousand plates (i.e. astronomical photographs) between 1887 and 1939.[8]


The observatory has used many telescopes over its lifetime.[10] For example, an 83 cm aperture reflecting telescope was installed in 1875.[13]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ MSN Encarta "Toulouse" "Toulouse," Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia 2008© 1997–2008 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Archived 1999-10-12 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Soucail, G.; Mellier, Y.; Fort, B.; Mathez, G.; Hammer, F. (October 1987). "Further data on the blue ring-like structure in A 370". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 184 (1–2): L7–L9. Bibcode:1987A&A...184L...7S. ISSN 0004-6361.
  3. ^ MEGACAM: A Status Report Derrick Salmon, CFHT
  4. ^ The City of Toulouse. Ambassade de France, Service de Presse et d'Information. 1971.
  5. ^ a b "1994JHA....25..199F Page 199". Retrieved 2019-11-14.
  6. ^ a b c d "1881AReg...19..218T Page 218". Retrieved 2019-11-14.
  7. ^ The Athenaeum. J. Lection. 1891.
  8. ^ a b c d e Hutchins, Roger (2008). British University Observatories, 1772-1939. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. ISBN 9780754632504.
  9. ^ Hutchins, Roger (2008). British University Observatories, 1772-1939. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. ISBN 9780754632504.
  10. ^ a b c Lukac, Marie R.; Miller, R. J. (2000). List of Active Professional Observatories. U.S. Naval Observatory.
  11. ^ Lequeux, James (2013-03-15). Le Verrier—Magnificent and Detestable Astronomer. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 9781461455653.
  12. ^ a b The Observatory. Editors of the Observatory. 1884.
  13. ^ Lequeux, James (2013-03-15). Le Verrier—Magnificent and Detestable Astronomer. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 9781461455653.

External linksEdit

Further readingEdit