By Augustín Udías (auth.)
Jesuits demonstrated a good number of astronomical, geophysical and meteorological observatories in the course of the seventeenth and 18th centuries and back in the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries during the international. The heritage of those observatories hasn't ever been released in an entire shape. Many early eu astronomical observatories have been confirmed in Jesuit schools.
During the seventeenth and 18th centuries Jesuits have been the 1st western scientists to go into into touch with China and India. It used to be via them that western astronomy was once first brought in those international locations. They made early astronomical observations in India and China they usually directed for a hundred and fifty years the Imperial Observatory of Beijing.
In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries a brand new set of observatories have been demonstrated. along with astronomy those now integrated meteorology and geophysics. Jesuits validated a number of the earliest observatories in Africa, South the US and the a long way East.
Jesuit observatories represent a frequently forgotten bankruptcy of the background of those sciences.
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Additional info for Searching the Heavens and the Earth: The History of Jesuit Observatories
It had also meteorological instruments such as barometers and thermometers. The ftrst director was Antoine de Laval (1664-1728), Professor of the School of Hydrography from 1696. He was very active in astronomical observations: for example, he observed six solar eclipses and 12 lunar eclipses. Moreover, he was very interested in the problem of the determination of geographical longitudes. Laval left Marseille in 1718 to become Royal Professor of Hydrography in Toulon. His successor was Jean Baptiste Thioly (1676-1720), who died in the plague which ravaged the city in 1720.
This was the first of this type of measurement done in central Europe. In 1762 he measured personally the base line (12 158 meters) near Vienna. When this measurement was repeated in 1806 it was found that it had only an error of 7 mm per kilometre. In these measurements he was helped by Triesnecker and also by the Jesuit mathematicians Karl Scherflers (1716-1783), who did most of the triangulation work, and Georg Ignaz Metzburg (1735-1798). Liesganig and Scherflers did very extensive cartographic work in Austria, for example, the map of Ostgalizien in 42 sheets.
Joseph Schreier (1681-1754), professor from 1726 to 1730 published in 1728 a book on the elliptical orbits of the planets. The college in Vienna, Austria, was founded in 1551 and from 1568 enjoyed the protection of Emperors Maximilian II, Ferdinand II and Leopold 1. The college had Chairs of Mathematics and Physics. From 1623 the college was part of the University of Vienna, but with considerable independence. The observatory was founded for the first time in 1734 by Josef Franz (1704-1776), an astronomer in charge of the philosophical studies, who was director from 1738.