French astronomer who studied the solar spectrum; he developed a spectrohelioscope 1868. In 1867 he concluded that water vapour was present in the atmosphere of Mars.
Janssen was born and educated in Paris, and built an observatory on
the flat roof of his house there. He was made professor of physics at
the Ecole Spéciale d'Architecture 1865, established an observatory
on Mont Blanc in the Alps, and in 1875 became director of the new astronomical
observatory at Meudon, near Paris. Scientific expeditions took him to
many parts of the world, including Peru and Japan; during the Franco-Prussian
War he travelled to Algeria by balloon to observe an eclipse.
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