Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas R. Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard A. Jarrell, Jordan D. MarchéII, JoAnn Palmeri, Daniel W. E. Green

Janssen, Pierre Jules César

  • Raymonde Barthalot
Reference work entry

BornParis, France, 22 February 1824

DiedMeudon near Paris, France, 23 December 1907

French solar astronomer Jules Janssen discovered that it is possible to see prominences beyond the limb of the Sun without waiting for an eclipse, demonstrated that some features in the solar spectrum are actually caused by gases in the Earth’s atmosphere, and reported erroneously a large quantity of water vapour in the atmosphere of Mars, which gave support to the then-popular idea of an inhabited planet.

A childhood accident left Janssen permanently lame, and he was educated at home. He initially started work in a bank and took up formal education only at the university level as an adult. He received his licence ès sciences at the Sorbonne in 1852 and then worked as a calculator at the Paris Observatory. Indeed, Janssen was dependent on a series of temporary jobs and stipends until 1865, when he was appointed to the chair of physics at the École Speciale d’Architecture in Paris.

Despite his handicap,...

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Selected References

  1. Anon. (1908). “Dr. P. J. C. Janssen.” Nature 77: 229–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barthalot, R. (mai 1994). “Jules Janssen: La passion du Soleil.” Ciel et espace 291.Google Scholar
  3. Bigourdan, G. (1908). “J. Janssen.” Bulletin astronomique 25: 49–58.Google Scholar
  4. Deslandres, H. (1909). Obituary. Annuaire du Bureau des longitudes: C1-C11.Google Scholar
  5. E. B. K. (1908). “Pierre Jules César Janssen.” Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 68: 245–249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Flammarion, C. (1907). Obituary. Bulletin de la Société Astronomique de France 22: 25.Google Scholar
  7. Janssen, J. (1866). “Sur le spectre de la vapeur d’eau.” Comptes rendus de l’Académie des sciences 63: 289–294.Google Scholar
  8. — (1868). “Indication de quelques-uns des résultats obtenues à Cocanada, pendant l’éclipse du mois d’août dernier, et à la suite de cette eclipse.” Comptes rendus de l’Académie des sciences 67: 838.Google Scholar
  9. — (1869). “Sur quelques spectres stellaires, remarquables par les caractères optiques de la vapeur d’eau.” Comptes rendus de l’Académie des sciences 68: 1545–1546.Google Scholar
  10. — (1872). “Lettre de M. Janssen sur les conséquences principales … sur l’éclipse de décembre dernier.” Comptes rendus de l’Académie des sciences 74: 175–176. (See also extract of a letter on the discovery of the coronal atmosphere, p. 514.)Google Scholar
  11. — (1873). “Passage de Venus; Méthode pour obtenir photographiquement l’instant des contacts.” Comptes rendus de l’Académie des sciences 76: 677–679. (Reproduced in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 33 [1873]: 380–381.)Google Scholar
  12. — (1895). Sur la présence de la vapeur d’eau dans l’atmosphère de la planète Mars. Paris: Gauthier-Villars.Google Scholar
  13. — (1896). Annales de l’Observatoire d’astronomie physique de Paris 1: 49–122.Google Scholar
  14. — (1903). Lectures académiques. Discours. Paris.Google Scholar
  15. — (1903). Atlas de photographies solaires. Paris: Gauthier-Villars.Google Scholar
  16. — (1929–1930). Oeuvres scientifiques de Jules Janssen, edited by H. Dehérain. 2 Vols. Paris. (For a compilation of 350 of Janssen’s works, published between 1859 and 1907.)Google Scholar
  17. Launay, Françoise and Peter D. Hingley (2005). “Jules Janssen’s ‘Revolver Photographique’ and Its British Derivative, ‘The Janssen Slide.’” Journal for the History of Astronomy 36: 57–79.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lévy, Jacques R. (1973). “Janssen, Pierre Jules César.” In Dictionary of Scientific Biography, edited by Charles Coulston Gillispie. Vol. 7, pp. 73–78. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.Google Scholar
  19. N. L. (1908). “P. J. C. Janssen, 1824–1907.” Proceedings of the Royal Society of London A 81: lxxvii-lxxxi.Google Scholar
  20. Pluvinel, A. de la Baume (1908). “Jules César Janssen.” Astrophysical Journal 28: 89–99.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Puiseux, P. (1908). “Jules Janssen: In Memoriam” (in French). Astronomische Nachrichten 177: 63–64.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Observatoire de la Cote d’AzurNiceFrance