Saint-Saëns was friends with the eminent French astronomer Camille Flammarion and participated in the Société Astronomique de France. His stature as a great French composer brought attention to the Société and astronomical research, and he contributed several articles to the group’s journal, Revue d’astronomie populaire.
This according to “Inspired by the skies? Saint-Saëns, amateur astronomer” by Léo Houziaux, an essay included in Camille Saint-Saëns and his world (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012, pp. 12–17).
Today is Saint-Saëns’s 180th birthday! Above, the composer (right) with Flammarion; below, Saint-Saëns adresses the heavens (Laudate, coeli!).