Lacaille’s Microscopium


Lacaille’s depiction of Microscopium, named le Microscope, shows a simple early form of the instrument. Its brightest star was Gamma Microscopii, magnitude 4.7, on the side of the tube. This illustration comes from a copy of Lacaille’s original chart of the southern skies published in 1756 contained in the popular-level Atlas Céleste of Jean Fortin. On the second edition of Lacaille’s chart, published in 1763, the name was Latinized to Microscopium; for a zoomable version of the second edition, see here. (Image © Ian Ridpath.)

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