A. Laurent

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Asteroids discovered: 1
51 Nemausa 22 January 1858

A. Laurent was a Frenchman who discovered the asteroid 51 Nemausa in 1858.

He never made any more asteroid discoveries and not much more seems to be known about him. He was described as a "very skillful young man" (un jeune homme très habile) by Édouard Stephan [1].

The asteroid was discovered using the private observatory at the house formerly occupied by Benjamin Valz, who left to become the new director of the Marseille Observatory. He entrusted his former observatory to A. Laurent, who later found the asteroid. The house, at 32 rue Nationale in Nîmes, has a plaque commemorating the discovery [2].

Valz reported the find in a letter to the Comptes rendus des séances de l'Académie des Sciences [3] [4]. A. Laurent was awarded the Lalande Prize of the French Academy of Sciences in 1858 for his discovery, along with five other asteroid and comet discoverers [5] [6] [7] [8]. In addition, asteroid 162 Laurentia was named in his honour.

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