E. M. Antoniadi

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Eugène Michel Antoniadi
Eugene Antoniadi.jpg
Eugène Michel Antoniadi
Born(1870-03-01)March 1, 1870
DiedFebruary 10, 1944(1944-02-10) (aged 73)
NationalityGreek, French
Occupation Astronomer
Years active1893-1944
Known forMaps of Mars and Mercury
Notable work
La planète Mars, 1659-1929

Eugène Michel Antoniadi (1 March 1870 10 February 1944) was a Greek astronomer.

The Greeks or Hellenes are an ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus, southern Albania, Italy, Turkey, Egypt and, to a lesser extent, other countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world.

Astronomer scientist who studies celestial bodies

An astronomer is a scientist in the field of astronomy who focuses their studies on a specific question or field outside the scope of Earth. They observe astronomical objects such as stars, planets, moons, comets, and galaxies – in either observational or theoretical astronomy. Examples of topics or fields astronomers study include planetary science, solar astronomy, the origin or evolution of stars, or the formation of galaxies. Related but distinct subjects like physical cosmology, which studies the Universe as a whole.



Antoniadi was born in Istanbul but spent most of his adult life in France, after being invited there by Camille Flammarion. [1]

Istanbul Metropolitan municipality in Marmara, Turkey

Istanbul, formerly known as Byzantium and Constantinople, is the most populous city in Turkey and the country's economic, cultural and historic center. Istanbul is a transcontinental city in Eurasia, straddling the Bosporus strait between the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. Its commercial and historical center lies on the European side and about a third of its population lives in suburbs on the Asian side of the Bosporus. With a total population of around 15 million residents in its metropolitan area, Istanbul is one of the world's most populous cities, ranking as the world's fourth largest city proper and the largest European city. The city is the administrative center of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. Istanbul is viewed as a bridge between the East and West.

France Republic with mainland in Europe and numerous oversea territories

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.

Camille Flammarion French astronomer and author

Nicolas Camille Flammarion FRAS was a French astronomer and author. He was a prolific author of more than fifty titles, including popular science works about astronomy, several notable early science fiction novels, and works on psychical research and related topics. He also published the magazine L'Astronomie, starting in 1882. He maintained a private observatory at Juvisy-sur-Orge, France.

He became a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society on 10 February 1899, and in 1890 he became one of the founding members of the British Astronomical Association (BAA). In 1892, he joined the BAA’s Mars Section and became that section's Director in 1896. [2]

Royal Astronomical Society learned society

The Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) is a learned society and charity that encourages and promotes the study of astronomy, solar-system science, geophysics and closely related branches of science. Its headquarters are in Burlington House, on Piccadilly in London. The society has over 4,000 members, termed Fellows, most of them professional researchers or postgraduate students. Around a quarter of Fellows live outside the UK. Members of the public who have an interest in astronomy and geophysics but do not qualify as Fellows may become Friends of the RAS.

The British Astronomical Association (BAA) was formed in 1890 as a national body to support the UK's amateur astronomers.

He became a member of the Société astronomique de France (SAF) in 1891. [3]

The Société astronomique de France (SAF), the French astronomical society, is a non-profit association in the public interest organized under French law. Founded by astronomer Camille Flammarion in 1887, its purpose is to promote the development and practice of astronomy.

Flammarion hired Antoniadi to work as an assistant astronomer in his private observatory in Juvisy-sur-Orge in 1893. [4] Antoniadi worked there for nine years. In 1902, he resigned from both the Juvisy observatory and from SAF. [2]

Camille Flammarion Observatory

The observatory was established in Juvisy-sur-Orge in 1883 by the French astronomer and author Camille Flammarion. In March 2010, the structure was classified as a historical monument by the French Ministry of Culture. The observatory belongs to the Société astronomique de France.

Juvisy-sur-Orge Commune in Île-de-France, France

Juvisy-sur-Orge is a commune in the Essonne department in Île-de-France in northern France. It is located 18 km south-east of Paris.

Antoniadi rejoined SAF in 1909. That same year, Henri Deslandres, Director of the Meudon Observeratory, provided him with access to the Grande Lunette (83-cm Great Refractor) [5]

Paris Observatory foremost astronomical observatory of France

The Paris Observatory, a research institution of PSL Research University, is the foremost astronomical observatory of France, and one of the largest astronomical centres in the world. Its historic building is to be found on the Left Bank of the Seine in central Paris, but most of the staff work on a satellite campus in Meudon, a suburb southwest of Paris.

He became a highly reputed observer of Mars, and at first supported the notion of Martian canals, but after using the 83 centimeter telescope at Meudon Observatory during the 1909 opposition of Mars, he came to the conclusion that canals were an optical illusion. He also observed Venus and Mercury.

Antoniadi's 1934 map of Mercury Mercure carte antoniadi.jpg
Antoniadi's 1934 map of Mercury

He made the first map of Mercury, but his maps were flawed by his incorrect assumption that Mercury had synchronous rotation with the Sun. [1] The first standard nomenclature for Martian albedo features was introduced by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) when they adopted 128 names from the 1929 map of Antoniadi named La Planète Mars. [6]

He is also famed for creating the Antoniadi scale of seeing, which is commonly used by amateur astronomers. He was also a strong chess player. His best result was equal first with Frank Marshall in a tournament in Paris in 1907, a point ahead of Savielly Tartakower.

He died in Paris, aged 73.


His full name was Eugène Michel Antoniadi (Greek : Ευγένιος Μιχαήλ Αντωνιάδη, Evgénios Michaíl Antoniádi), however he was also known as Eugenios Antoniadis. His name is also sometimes given as Eugène Michael Antoniadi or even (incorrectly) as Eugène Marie Antoniadi.

Awards and Honors


Antoniadi was a prolific writer of articles and books (the Astrophysics Data System lists nearly 230 that he authored or co-authored). [7] The subjects included astronomy, history, and architecture. He frequently wrote articles for L'Astronomie of the Société astronomique de France, Astronomische Nachrichten , and the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society , among others.

Notable works include:

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  1. 1 2 Hockey, Thomas (2009). "Antoniadi, Eugène Michael". The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers. Springer Publishing. pp. 83–85. doi:10.1007/978-1-4419-9917-7_58. ISBN   978-0-387-31022-0.
  2. 1 2 McKim, R. J. “The life and times of E.M. Antoniadi, 1870-1944. Part I: an astronomer in the making.” Journal of the British Astronomical Association 1993, vol. 103, no. 4, pp. 164-170.
  3. Bulletin de la Société Astronomique de France 1896, p. 415.
  4. 1 2 3 4 "Antoniadi, Eugène Michel - Archives," cote Ms 1138, Bibliothèque de l'Observatoire de Paris - site de Paris (France), Alidade database, consulted 16 March 2018.
  5. McKim, Richard J. “The life and times of E.M. Antoniadi, 1870-1944. Part II: The Meudon years.” Journal of the British Astronomical Association 1993, vol. 103, no. 5, pp. 219-227.
  6. Shirley, James H.; Fairbridge, Rhodes Whitmore (1997). "Nomenclature". Encyclopedia of planetary sciences. Springer. pp. 543–550. ISBN   978-0-412-06951-2.
  7. Harvard Astrophysics Data System, retrieved 5 May 2018.
  8. Bibliothèque nationale de France Gallica catalog entry.
  9. Bibliothèque nationale de France Gallica catalog entry.
  10. Bibliothèque nationale de France Gallica catalog entry.

Further reading