Reference Work Entry

Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

pp 548-549


Delaunay, Charles-Eugène

BornLusigny, Aube, France, 9 April 1816

Diedat sea near Cherbourg, France, 5 August 1872

Charles-Eugène Delaunay was a professor, director of the Paris Observatory, mathematician, and a significant contributor to lunar theory. The son of Jacques-Hubert Delaunay, a mathematics teacher, and Catherine Choiselat, Delaunay entered the École Polytechnique in 1834. Ranked first in his class 2 years later, he received the first Laplace Prize, a copy of the astronomer’s complete works that is said to have prompted his interest in celestial mechanics. After turning down an offer from Dominique Aragoto join the Paris Observatory after his mentor Félix Savary, from the Bureau des longitudes, said that this amounted to forfeiting his independence, Delaunay attended the École des mines, with which he stayed closely associated through the early part of his career. He married Marie-Olympe Millot in 1839, and they had a son the following year; after her untimely death in 1849, he raised his son alone and ...

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