Jean-Philippe Loys de Cheseaux

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Portrait of Jean-Phillippe de Cheseaux

Jean-Philippe Loys de Cheseaux, also written "Loÿs de Cheseaux" (French pronunciation: ​[ʒɑ̃ filip lois də ʃezo]; May 4, 1718 in Lausanne – November 30, 1751) was an astronomer from Lausanne in Switzerland. In 1746 he presented a list of nebulae, eight of which were his own new discoveries, to the Académie Française des Sciences. The list was noted privately by Le Gentil in 1759, but only made public in 1892 by Guillaume Bigourdan. De Cheseaux was among the first to state, in its modern form, what would later be known as Olbers' paradox (that, if the universe is infinite, the night sky should be bright).

De Cheseaux discovered two comets:[1]

De Cheseaux also did some little-known research into Biblical chronology, attempting to date the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth by analysing astronomical observations in the Book of Daniel. This work was published posthumously in Mémoires posthumes de M. de Cheseaux (1754).

The spelling "Chéseaux" (with the accent) is incorrect: "Cheseaux" refers to the village of the same name, near Lausanne.[2]


  1. ^ "Maik Meyer. Catalog of comet discoveries". Archived from the original on July 16, 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-15.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  2. ^ "Site officiel de la commune de Cheseaux-sur-Lausanne". (in French). Retrieved 2019-01-14.

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