Hervé Faye

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Hervé Faye

Hervé Auguste Étienne Albans Faye ((1814-10-01)1 October 1814 – 4 July 1902(1902-07-04))[1] was a French astronomer, born at Saint-Benoît-du-Sault (Indre) and educated at the École Polytechnique, which he left in 1834, before completing his course, to accept a position in the Paris Observatory to which he had been appointed on the recommendation of M. Arago. It was during his time at the École Polytechnique that he developed his interest in astronomy.[2]

He studied comets, and discovered the periodic comet 4P/Faye on 22 November 1843. His discovery of "Faye's comet" attracted worldwide attention, and won him the 1844 Lalande Prize prize and a membership in the Academy of Sciences. In 1848 he became an instructor in geodesy at the Polytechnique, and in 1854 rector of the academy at Nancy and professor of astronomy in the faculty of science there. Other promotions followed in succeeding decades. He became Minister of Public Instruction in the Rochebouet cabinet in 1877,[1] a position which he held only briefly.

His work covered the entire field of astronomical investigation. It comprised the determination of comet periods, the measurement of parallaxes, and the study of stellar and planetary movements. He also studied the physics of the sun. He advanced several original theories on the nature and form of comets, meteors, the aurora borealis, and the sun.

Publications[edit]

In collaboration with Charles Galusky he translated Humboldt's Cosmos (four volumes, 1846–59), and, in addition to numerous contributions to scientific periodicals, published the following important works:

  • Sur les déclinaisons absolues (1850)
  • Leçons de cosmographie (1852; second edition, 1854)
  • Sur les cyclones solaires (1873)
  • Cours d'astronomie de l'Ecole Polytechnique (two volumes, 1881–83)
  • Sur l'origine du monde (1884; third edition, enlarged 1895)
  • Nouvelle étude sur les tempêtes, cyclones, trombes, ou tornadoes (1897)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Liste chronologique des ministres chargés de l'Education nationale et de leurs différentes appellations" (in French). INPR - Institut National de Recherche Pédagogique. Retrieved 2009-05-19. 
  2. ^ Hockey, Thomas (2009). The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers. Springer Publishing. ISBN 978-0-387-31022-0. Retrieved August 22, 2012.