Flaugergues was born in Viviers, France in 1755 and died in Viviers on 1835 November 26. He was a respected amateur astronomer with many accomplishments, most notable being the discovery of dust clouds on Mars in 1809 and the discovery of comet in 1811.
The dust cloud discovery is a matter of some controversy. Flaugergues was diligently observing Mars during 1809 with his refracting telescope of 13.4-m focal length and a magnification of 90 times. He was timing the movement of dark reddish patches on the disk with respect to the planet's rotation. After a while he noted that his timings were revealing some inconsistent results and suspected the patches might have been atmospheric. Although some later historians credit Flaugergues as having discovered yellow dust clouds that can appear on Mars, there are others who say that his telescope was too small to have been able to reliably detect these small features.
No one disputes his discovery of the Great Comet of 1811. He first saw the comet on the evening of 1811 March 25 and gave a position that placed it within the constellation of Puppis. By mid-April this comet had become a naked-eye object and it was at its brightest during the autumn of 1811. During October, the tail reached its maximum length of nearly 24°. The comet was still a naked-eye object when it became lost in twilight near mid-January 1812. This nine months of naked-eye visibility was not surpassed until the appearance of comet Hale-Bopp in 1997.
Flaugergues observed several comets during his life. He was an independent discoverer of the Great Comet of 1807, and observed comets through 1826. In 1815, he won a prize offered by the Academy of Nîmes when he wrote a paper comparing the various theories that explained the appearance of comets.
According to W. T. Lynn, Flaugergues won other prizes during this life for papers he wrote on a wide variety of scientific studies. Lynn wrote, "The varied nature of his scientific studies is illustrated by his obtaining prizes from the Academies of Lyons, Montpellier, and Toulouse for papers on the different refrangibility of the rays of light and on the figure of the Earth, on the rainbow, and on waterspouts respectively."
Flaugergues did make a few mistaken conclusions in his life. In 1813 he watched the polar ice caps of Mars melt as the Martian spring began. He incorrectly concluded that Mars was hotter than Earth.