Abbe Nicolas Louis de Lacaille (1713 - 1762) was a
who had the honor
of naming 15
of the 88 constellation
s. He studied the stars of
the southern hemisphere
from his observatory
the Cape of Good Hope
from 1750 - 1754.
Lacaille is often considered to be the first person
ever to systematically observe the whole sky, an honor
also ascribed to John Herschel, although Lacaille
used a much smaller 1/2" telescope.
16 years before Charles Messier started to work on
his catalog, Lacaille had already observed 10,000
celestial objects, as well as catalogued
42 nebulous objects.
There are several remarkable objects and
original discoveries in Lacaille's list,
most notable is M83, the first galaxy
beyond the Local Group to be discovered.
The constellations he named all got "scientific"
names, with the exception of Mensa: