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Magellan, les Nuages et la Navigation Astronomique

Abstract : It is exactly 500 years ago that Magellan and his crew discovered the channel linking the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. While his name was rapidly associated to this important channel, it is less clear when his name was associated to the Clouds. The "Magellanic" Clouds were well known before him, but were of little use for navigation due to their extended nature. The documents of his Astronomer, Andrès de San Martin, have unfortunately disappeared and we explore the history of southern navigation, and the first records of the southern sky to find out when the name of Magellan was associated to the Clouds. They were long called Nubecula Major and Minor by the scientists, and it is only in 1847 that the name "Magellanic Clouds" appears first in a scientific publication by John Herschel, describing his observations at the Cape of Good Hope. This name has become common among scientists only when latin finally disappeared from scientific exchanges. Text in French.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, August 9, 2022 - 10:35:15 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, August 10, 2022 - 3:46:27 AM

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Michel Dennefeld. Magellan, les Nuages et la Navigation Astronomique. L'Astronomie Vol.144 p.40, 2020, 144, pp.40. ⟨insu-03748041⟩

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