Henri Chrétien

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Henri Jacques Chrétien
Chrétien at the Fourth Conference International Union for Cooperation in Solar Research at Mount Wilson Observatory, 1910
Born1 February 1879
Died6 February 1956
Scientific career
InstitutionsNice Observatory
École supérieure d'optique

Henri Jacques Chrétien (French pronunciation: [ɑ̃ʁi ʒak kʁetjɛ̃]; 1 February 1879, Paris – 6 February 1956, Washington, D.C.)[1] was a French astronomer and an inventor.

Villa Paradou, Cap Ferrat, France
Trompe-l'œil mosaic floor in the Villa Paradou by Rainer Maria Latzke honoring Henri Chrétien,

Born in Paris, France, his most famous inventions are:
- the anamorphic widescreen process, using an anamorphic lens system called Hypergonar, that resulted in the CinemaScope widescreen technique, and
- the co-invention, with George Willis Ritchey, of the Ritchey–Chrétien telescope, an improved type of astronomical telescope, employing a system now used in virtually all large research telescopes.

He spent part of his early astronomical career at the Nice Observatory, which was close to his house, the Villa Paradou. The Villa was built by famous French architect Charles Garnier[2][citation needed] who also built the Nice Observatory and both the operas of Paris and Monaco. In 1995, the abandoned villa was acquired by the artist Rainer Maria Latzke, who restored it and added new murals to the existing frescoes.

Chrétien was one of the founders of the Institut d'optique théorique et appliquée and professor at the French "grande école" SupOptique (École supérieure d'optique).

Awards and honors[edit]



  1. ^ Lance Day & Ian McNeil, eds., Biographical Dictionary of the History of Technology, 1995
  2. ^ Muriel., Emanuel (1994). Contemporary architects. St. James Press. ISBN 9781558621824. OCLC 30816307.
  3. ^ Chrétien International Research Grants Archived 2009-02-14 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Prix et Subventions Attribués en 1931: Prix Valz". Comptes Rendus Hebdomadaires des Séances de l'Académie des Sciences. 193: 1238. December 14, 1931.
  5. ^ "Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature: Chrétien". International Astronomical Union (IAU) / USGS Astrogeology Science Center. Oct 18, 2010.