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On the Physical Constitution of the Sun — Part I

Author(s): Faye H.

Journal: Progress in Physics
ISSN 1555-5534

Volume: 3;
Start page: 35;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: gaseous Sun | Physical Constitution | clouds of iron | magnesium vapor

Patrice Robitaille (TAV College, Montreal, Canada) provides a translation of Herve´ August Etienne Albans Faye’s classic report Sur la constitution physique du soleil, as it appeared in February 1865 within Les Mondes,1865, v.7, 293–306. Herve Faye (October 1, 1814 – July 4, 1902) led a distinguished life, both in science and public service. He was widely regarded as one of the premier astronomers of his day. He had studied under the great Franc¸ois Arago. In 1843, he became a Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur and, in 1877, served as the French Minister of Education (Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913). Faye’s report On the Physical Constitution of the Sun was a crucial milestone in the history of astronomy. It was through this paper, that the Sun became viewed as devoid of a distinct surface. The work was also interesting as it presented Faye’s early conception of the gaseous Sun. In addition, through its submission, Faye had sought the approbation of Father Secchi relative to claims of simultaneous discovery (see P. M. Robitaille. A Thermodynamic History of the Solar Constitution — I: The Journey to a Gaseous Sun. Progr. Phys., 2011, v.3, 3–25). Faye’s work would continue to impact solar physics until the 1920s.
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