Date: 03 Sep 2014

Danjon, André-Louis

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BornCaen, Calvados, France, 6 April 1890

DiedParis, France, 21 April 1967

André Danjon led the recovery of French astronomy to excellence after many decades of neglect and the two world wars fought on French soil. Danjon is remembered for his development of instruments and for his fundamental studies of the Earth’s rotation. As a result of his efforts to stabilize and expand the International Astronomical Union [IAU] during the troubled period after World War II, Danjon exercised substantial influence on twentieth-century astronomy.

The son of Louis Dominique Danjon and Marie Justine Binet, both drapers, Danjon was one of three siblings. His father was at first an accountant, which may perhaps explain Danjon’s lifelong interest in precision and exactness; characteristics he first evinced while a student at the Lycée Malherbe in Caen. In 1910, Danjon was accepted for admission to several of the major French institutions of which he chose the École Normale Supérieure [ENS]. During his studi ...