Nicole-Reine Lepaute, French calculator and astronomer

Nicole-Reine Lepaute, born Étable on 5 January 1723 in Paris, died in the same city on 6 December 1788, was a French calculator and astronomer. Together with Caroline Herschel and the Marquise du Châtelet, she was one of the leading women scientists of the Age of Enlightenment.

Her work is often included in that of other authors, including Jérôme de Lalande and her husband. But, if we are to believe Lalande, who loved her very much, she was “a master rather than an emulator “. In particular, she helped to calculate the precise date of the return of Halley’s Comet of 1759 and was a major contributor to the calculation of the astronomical ephemeris Knowledge of Time.

Portrait of Nicole-Reine Lepaute (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Leave a Reply