World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Marcin Odlanicki Poczobutt

Article Id: WHEBN0001363216
Reproduction Date:

Title: Marcin Odlanicki Poczobutt  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: History of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (1764–95), Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Belarusian mathematicians, Lithuanian astronomers, Vilnius University rectors
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Marcin Odlanicki Poczobutt

Marcin Odlanicki Poczobutt wearing the Order of the White Eagle.
Portrait by Józef Oleszkiewicz

Marcin Odlanicki Poczobutt (Belarusian: Марцін Адляніцкі-Пачобут; Lithuanian: Martynas Počobutas) (30 October 1728 near Hrodna – 7 February 1810 in Daugavpils) was a Polish–Lithuanian Jesuit astronomer and mathematician. He was professor of Vilnius University for over 50 years, serving as its rector from 1780 to 1799. The Poczobutt crater on the Moon is named after him.


  • Career 1
  • Scientific work 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4


Poczobutt studied at Vilnius University (1745–1751) and Charles University in Prague (1754–1756). With brief interruptions he lectured at Vilnius University from 1753 to 1808.[1] Sponsored by Michał Fryderyk Czartoryski, he further studied in France, Italy, and Germany from 1762 to 1764. His stay at the Marseille Observatory under Esprit Pézenas inspired him to devote his career to astronomy.[2] He earned doctorate of philosophy, gained professorship, and became director of the Vilnius Astronomical Observatory in 1764.[1] The observatory, established by Thomas Zebrowski, was in its early stages of development and Poczobutt worked hard to obtain modern instruments. Despite suppression of the Jesuits in 1773, the observatory gained royal favor from King Stanisław August Poniatowski—it was named royal observatory and Poczobutt became King's astronomer.[2] In 1780, Poczobutt was appointed as university rector by the Commission of National Education. He was tasked with reforming the university from a medieval school concentrated on humanities (philosophy and theology) to a modern scientific institution.[3] Under Poczobutt the university improved its science, medicine, and law departments.[4] As rector of the university he promoted the use of Latin and opposed any use of Polish or Lithuanian languages.[3]

Scientific work

He often traveled to London where he ordered astronomical equipment from Jesse Ramsden and John Dollond: a 4-foot transit telescope in 1765, 3.5-foot achromatic telescope in 1770, 8-foot mural quadrant in 1777, and meridian circle in 1788.[2] Other purchases included octant, equatorial, two theodolites, 10-foot sextant.[5] The observatory was expanded by architect Marcin Knackfus in 1782–1788 to accommodate the new equipment. Poczobutt observed solar and lunar eclipses, comets and asteroids (including Ceres, Pallas, Juno), and calculated geographic coordinates of settlements in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (including Vilnius and Hrodna).[1] In addition, he made measurements of Mercury to compute its orbit; later this data was used by Jérôme Lalande.[6] He described 16-star constellation, which he named Taurus Poniatovii in honor of King Poniatowski (it is now obsolete and considered to be part of the Ophiuchus).[7] His recorded observations amounted to 34 volumes.[6] In 1770 he became the first in Lithuania to systematically measure and record weather temperature (continuous records survive since 1777).[8] Poczobutt was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1771 and a corresponding member of the French Academy of Sciences in 1778. He was awarded the Order of Saint Stanislaus in 1785 and Order of the White Eagle in 1793.[3]

See also


  1. ^ a b c (Lithuanian) Jonas Zinkus; et al., eds. (1985–1988). "Počobutas, Martynas". Tarybų Lietuvos enciklopedija 3. Vilnius, Lithuania: Vyriausioji enciklopedijų redakcija. p. 407.  
  2. ^ a b c McConnell, Anita (2007). Jesse Ramsden (1735-1800): London's leading scientific instrument maker.  
  3. ^ a b c Šidlauskas, Algirdas (1994). Vilniaus universiteto istorija 1569–1994 (in Lietuvių). Vilnius: Valstybinis leidybos centras. pp. 113–114.  
  4. ^ Stone, Daniel (2001). The Polish–Lithuanian State, 1386–1795. A History of East Central Europe. University of Washington Press. p. 314.  
  5. ^ Klimka, Libertas (2003). "Overview of the History of Vilnius University Observatory".  
  6. ^ a b Udías Vallina, Agustín (2003). Searching the heavens and the earth: the history of Jesuit observatories. Astrophysics and space science library. Kluwer Academic Publishers. p. 32.  
  7. ^ Kanas, Nick (2009). Star maps: history, artistry, and cartography (2nd ed.). Praxis Publishing. p. 128.  
  8. ^ Bukantis, Arūnas (2010-12-14). "Meteorologiniams matavimams Lietuvoje – 240 metų" (in Lietuvių). Retrieved 2010-12-19. 
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.