He was the brother of Ernest Flammarion — , founder of the Groupe Flammarion publishing house. In , he wrote that he believed that dwellers on Mars had tried to communicate with the Earth in the past. He has been described as an "astronomer, mystic and storyteller" who was "obsessed by life after death, and on other worlds, and [who] seemed to see no distinction between the two. He was convinced that souls after the physical death pass from planet to planet, progressively improving at each new incarnation. It is not quite clear if these two incidents are related to each other.
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Camille Flammarion Camille Flammarion From a modest family background, this science populariser spent his entire life sharing his passion for studying and observing natural phenomena with his fellow citizens from all walks of life.
In , he joined the Calculations Office of the Paris Observatory , drawn by the prospect of discovering the wonders of the sky. However, at the time this prestigious establishment dealt only with celestial mechanics and not at all with astrophysics. Henceforth, he became known for his books and his conferences, collaborated with a great number of magazines and newspapers, both French and foreign, and actively participated in the great movement of scientific emancipation that took place in the second half of the 19th century.
I — Vol. In , he set up a small observatory in Paris from where he set out to observe the stars and the planets. In , one of his admirers offered him a beautiful mansion and a park at Juvisy-sur-Orge, about 20 km south of Paris. Without wasting any time and actively supported by his spouse Sylvie Petiot, he built an astronomical observatory with its dome housing a mm equatorial refractor telescope, a high performance instrument for that time. Flammarion did not forget amateur astronomers, whom he had inspired through his books.
Flammarion, after serving as the first president, remained secretary general until his death in Gabrielle Renaudot, his second spouse, took over and continued his work.
astronomie populaire de flammarion, Edition originale