Nathaniel Bowditch
(1773-1838)

 

US astronomer.He wrote The New American Practical Navigator 1802, having discovered many inaccuracies in the standard navigation guide of the day. Celestial Mechanics 1829-39 was his translation of the first four volumes of French astronomer Pierre Laplace's Traité de mécanique céleste 1799-1825.
Bowditch was born in Salem, Massachusetts. He had little formal education but read widely as a merchant sailor during the years 1795-1803. In 1829 he became president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


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