Guillaume Le Gentil was an 18th century French astronomer known for discovering several nebulae. He discovered the dwarf "early-type" galaxy Messier 32, a satellite galaxy of the Andromeda Galaxy (M31); independently rediscovered M36 and M38, both open cluster of stars in the Auriga constellation; and also discovered the nebulosity in M8. He was appointed to the Royal Academy of Sciences. Le Gentil became part of the French expedition of the international collaborative project that was organized by Mikhail Lomonosov for measuring distance to the Sun by observing the transit of Venus from different points across the globe. Accordingly, he set out for Pondicherry, a French possession in India, but eventually remained unsuccessful in observing the 1761 and 1769 transits of Venus from India. His long-delayed return trip to Paris led him to find that he was already declared legally dead, his wife remarried, his relatives took possession of his estate and he was replaced in the Royal Academy of Sciences. He later recovered his seat in the Academy and remarried following a long litigation and the king’s intervention.