Theophile Moreaux (1867-1954) founded an observatory in Bourges, where he also served as professor of mathematics. He was an avid educator and creative thinker, and a member of the respected Légion d’honneur. Among his greatest interests was the vast expanse of space and its infinite possibilities, and he conducted detailed studies of the surfaces of both the moon and Mars. He also published a number of very popular star charts, as well as charts of the moon’s surface.
Among Moreaux’s many celestial interests was the possibility of extraterrestrial life, in any form, although he rejected a popular theory of life on Mars that was prevalent at the time. He authored a number of popular science works that took on big questions like: What happens after death? Why are we here? And is there other life among the stars? These books had enormous popular appeal and with their foundations in science were widely acclaimed as important works of knowledge dissemination and philosophy. In his most celebrated work, La Science Mystérieuse des Pharaons, he demonstrates how, in order to construct the great monuments they did, the ancient Egyptians had to have been able to calculate factors like the Earth’s density, the exact duration of a day and a year, and the distance between the Earth and the Sun. Following his death in 1954, an asteroid (14914) and a large Martian crater were named after him.
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