Jean Nicolas Fortin (August 9, 1750 - 1831)
Jean Nicolas Fortin was born on August 9, 1750 in Mouchy-la-Ville,
Île de France.
He became an engeneer and mechanician, and got employed by the King and the
Royal family for producing globes and spheres.
During his life, he is known to have produced a total of two publications; both
are improved and updated editions of
John Flamsteed's star atlas, "Atlas Coelestis"
These two works were published in French as "Atlas Céleste," in the
years 1776 ad 1795: His first work, labelled the second edition of Flamsteed's
atlas (Fortin 1776), included work by
Pierre-Charles Le Monnier, F. Pasumot, and
Nicholas Louis de Lacaille. The second one, the
third edition of "Atlas Céleste"
(Fortin 1795), was updated by
Jerôme de Lalande and
Pierre Méchain. Because of Méchain's
involvement, it includes, in particular, many of the nebulae discovered by
Messier and Méchain, many cartographed here
for the first time, and in particular most of Méchain's additional
findings, i.e., M104,
and M109B (NGC 3953).
It also includes most of the nebulae printed in
Johann Elert Bode's star atlas of 1782,
"Vorstellung der Gestirne" (Bode 1782) which had in
turn used the data from Fortin's 1776 atlas.
Fortin died in 1831 in Paris.
.. more to come soon ..
- Johann Elert Bode, 1782.
Vorstellung der Gestirne auf XXXIV Kupfertafeln.
Gottlieb August Lange, Berlin and Stralsund.
- John Flamsteed, 1729.
Atlas Coelestis. By the late John Flamsteed.
Edited by Margaret Flamsteed and James Hodgson.
- Jean Fortin, 1776.
Atlas Céleste de Flamstéed, approuve par l'Académie
Royale des Sciences, et publié sous le privilege de cette Compagnie.
F.G. Deschamps, Paris.
Includes improvements by Pierre-Charles Le Monnier, F. Pasumot, and
Nicholas Louis de Lacaille.
online at Giangi Caglieris' site. Also
available online at the Linda Hall Library, Digital Servies.
has identified 18 Messier Objects in this atlas.
The present author [hf] can verify this number, and has found the following:
M5, M7, M9, M10, M11, M12, M13, M15, M22, M27, M28, M31, M32, M33, M42, M44,
M45, and M55. He could also find Flamsteed's "nebula" 55 And (which is
actually a normal star), and NGC 6231.
- Jean Fortin, 1795.
Atlas Céleste de Flamstéed.
Troisième Édition, Revue, corrigée &
augmentée par les Citoyens Lalande & Méchain.
Belin Lamarche, Paris.
Images of the maps of this atlas are
on Henk Bril's site.
Henk Bril has identified
95 nebulae, including 85 Messier objects (2 at wrong positions, and
another 4 duplicated at wrong positions) and 10 others, including 3 asterisms
and a duplicate wrong position of the LMC.
He also identified a prediscovery observation of Uranus, and a number of
variable stars including novae and supernovae.
- Asit K. Biwas and Argaret A. Biwas, 1972.
Fortin, Jean Nicolas.
In: Charles Coulston Gillispie (ed.), 1972.
Dictionary of Scientific Biography, Vol. V, p. 78.
Scribner, New York.
[History Home] |