Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
One of the 11 sons of Claude Delisle (1644-1720), Joseph-Nicolas was born in Paris. As with many of his brothers, among them Guillaume Delisle (1675-1726), he initially followed classical studies. Soon, however, he moved into astronomy under the supervision of J. Lietaud and, sparely, Jacques Cassini (1677-1756). He entered the French Academy of Science as pupil of Giandomenico Maraldi (1709-1788). Though he was a good scientist and member of a wealthy family he did not have much money.
His life changed radically when he was called by the Russian czar Peter the Great to St. Petersburg to create and run the school of astronomy. Here he became quite rich and famous, to such an extent that when he returned to Paris in 1747, he received the title of Astronomer from the Academy and created his own observatory in the palace of Cluny, later made famous by Charles Messier. Delisle, mostly known for a temperature scale invented in 1732, died in Paris on 1768.
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