Les 350 ans de l'Observatoire de Paris

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16672017350 years of history to go

Since the Galilean revolution and the beginnings of modern experimental science (1610), scholars and enlightened monarchs have been interested in scientific demonstrations, astronomy...

1666

Founding of the Academy of Sciences

1667

The mathematicians of the Academy establish the Paris meridian

1669

Jean-Dominique Cassini takes over the Observatory

1671

Cassini discovers Iapetus, a satellite of Saturn

1672

The distance from the Earth to the Sun is determined

1676

Cassini and Rømer discover that light has a finite speed

1679

Cassini establishes a magnificent map of the Moon

1682

Louis XIV visits the Observatory

1687

Publication Newton's Principia de Newton

1693

Astronomers correct the map of France

1715

Death of Louis XIV

1718

End of the first determination of the Paris meridian

1744

Geodesy shows that the Earth is flattened

1759

Return of Halley's comet

1784

Termination of the great Cassini Map of France

1786

Construction of a small observatory on the terrace

1789

French Revolution

1789

Raid of the Observatory cellars

1792

A new determination of the Paris meridian

1795

Creation of the Bureau des longitudes

1800

Herschel discovers infrared radiation

1806

The young Arago continues the measurement of the meridian

1811

Arago creates astrophysics

1815

End of the First Empire, Restoration

1816

Arago and Fresnel work together at the Observatory

1821

Bouvard notes an anomaly in the motion of Uranus

1834

Victor Hugo observes the Moon at the Observatory

1839

Arago and Daguerre make the first astronomical photograph

1841

Arago builds a lecture hall at the Observatory

1846

Le Verrier discovers Neptune

1847

Completion of the large dome

1851

Coup d'état of Napoléon III

1854

Arago succeeded by Le Verrier

1855

Le Verrier creates European meteorology

1858

Foucault invents the glass mirror telescope

1862

Foucault measures the speed of light accurately

1867

Wolf and Rayet discover emission line stars

1870

End of the Second Empire, Third Republic

1876

Janssen creates an observatory at Meudon for physical astronomy

1879

Mouchez creates a museum at the Observatory

1887

Launch of the international project to create a photographic map of the sky

1890

Deslandres invents the spectroheliograph

1905

Theory of relativity

1909

Nordmann measures stellar temperatures for the first time

1910

Loewy and Puiseux terminate their photographic atlas of the Moon

1910

The Observatory time signals are transmitted from the Eiffel Tower

1914

First World War

1916

Theory of general relativity

1919

Baillaud creates the Bureau international de l’heure and the Union astronomique internationale

1927

Merger of the Paris and Meudon observatories

1928

Discovery of the expansion of the Universe

1930

Lyot invents the coronagraph

1933

The talking clock is switched on

1936

Creation of the CNRS, of the IAP and of the OHP

1936

Discovery of irregularities in the rotation of the Earth

1939

Second World War

1945

Danjon takes charge of the Observatory

1953

Creation of the Nançay radioastronomical station

1958

Launch of Sputnik

1959

The first electronic camera is installed at the Lick Observatory in California

1959

The first computer arrives at the Meudon observatory

1963

Discovery of quasars

1963

The Observatory gets into space research

1965

Discovery of the microwave radiation of the Universe

1967

The large Nançay radio-telescope commissioned

1967

Discovery of pulsars

1969

The Meudon “solar tower” is commissioned

1971

The first significant space experiment is placed on board a Soviet space probe

1973

Observation of a total solar eclipse from the Concorde

1975

Creation of the Laboratoire primaire du temps et des fréquences (Time and Frequency Standard Laboratory)

1979

Commissioning of the French-Canada-Hawaii telescope

1987

Discovery of supernovae neutrinos

1989

Creation of the Institut de radioastronomie millimétrique (IRAM)

1989

Launch of the astrometric satellite Hipparcos

1993

Creation of an extremely accurate clock

1993

Ground-based images better than those from the Hubble Space Telescope

1995

Discovery of the first exoplanet

2006

Launch of the French satellite CoRoT

2010

A world interferometric station, LOFAR, at Nançay

2013

Launch of the astrometric satellite GAIA

2015

Discovery of gravitational waves