Date: 03 Sep 2014

Faye, Hervé

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BornSaint Benoît-du-Sault, Orne, France, 1 October 1814

DiedParis, France, 4 July 1902

Hervé Faye, whose researches were largely theoretical in character, enunciated a model of the Sun and discussed the effects of solar radiation pressure on the motions of comets, arguing that this repulsive force was responsible for the tail phenomena. Faye was the son of a civil engineer, whose interest in astronomy developed a year or two after he entered the école Polytechnique in 1832. Four years later, he acquired a position at the Observatoire de Paris and worked under director Dominique Arago. Faye calculated the orbit of comet 4P/1843 W1, which he discovered telescopically on 22 November and for which he was awarded the Lalande Prize of the Académie des sciences. He also calculated the orbits of two other periodic comets. Thereafter, his career progressed in several directions.

From 1848 to 1854, Faye lectured on geodesy at the école Polytechnique and was appointed a full professor in 1873. He al ...