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

Stephan, Jean-Marie-Édouard

Reference work entry

BornSainte-Pezenne, Deux-Sèvres, France, 31 August 1837

DiedMarseilles, France, 31 December 1923

Édouard Stephan is chiefly remembered as the director of the Observatory of Marseilles (1873–1907), where he discovered many new nebulae at a time when astronomers were vacillating about whether these were gas clouds in the Milky Way or separate large stellar systems; in fact there are some of each. He also made pioneering studies of the angular diameters of stars.

Stephan graduated at the top of his class from the École Normale Supérieure in 1862 and was promptly recruited by  Urbain Le Verrier of the Paris Observatory. Three years later, he completed his docteur ès sciencesdegree. In 1866, Stephan was assigned to complete a transfer of the Observatory of Marseilles from the Montée des Accoules to its new site on the Plateau Longchamp. In 1873, he was appointed the observatory’s official director. Stephan was also named professor of astronomy in the university of Marseilles in 1879. He...

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Selected References

  1. Anon. (1925). “Édouard Stephan.” Annales de la Faculté des Sciences de Marseille 26: 1–13.Google Scholar
  2. Bigourdan, Guillaume (1924). “Jean-Marie-Éduoard Stephan.” Comptes rendus de lAcadémie des sciences 178: 21–24.Google Scholar
  3. Bosler, Jean (1924). “Édouard Stephan (1837–1923).” Journal des observateurs 7, no. 2: 9–10.ADSGoogle Scholar
  4. Burnham, Jr. Robert (1978). Burnhams Celestial Handbook:An Observers Guide to the Universe Beyond the Solar System. Vol. 3, Pavo to Vulpecula. New York: Dover, pp. 1389–1390. (On Stephan’s quintet.)Google Scholar
  5. Lévy, Jacques R. (1976). “Stephan, Édouard Jean Marie.” In Dictionary of Scientific Biography, edited by Charles Coulston Gillispie. Vol. 13, pp. 36–37. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.Google Scholar
  6. Tobin, W. (1987). “Foucault’s Invention of the Silvered-glass Reflecting Telescope and the History of His 80-cm Reflector at the Observatoire de Marseille.” Vistas in Astronomy 30: 153–184.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand