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 Fyodor Bredikhin


Born:   November 26, 1831
Deceased:   May 1, 1904

Eminent astronomer

      

Bredikhin Fyodor Aleksandrovich, famous Russian astronomer, was born on November 26, 1831, to the old noble family, which lived in the city of Nikolayev. All his relatives were sailors. Fyodor received secondary education in Richelieu Lyceum in Odessa. In 1851 future scientist was admitted to Moscow University and graduated from it in 1855. Fyodor Bredikhin became PhD student of Moscow University and read lectures until finishing his studies in 1858.

In 1862 Fyodor Bredikhin defended his master dissertation, and three years later became Doctor of Sciences. In 1865 Bredikhin was appointed full professor of Moscow University and in 1873 became director of university observatory. Later Fyodor Bredikhin headed Pulkovo observatory.

Research of Fyodor Bredikhin covered many fields of astronomy, but it was astrophysics of comets than made him world famous. The scientist developed Bessel’s theory of comet forms and created mechanical theory of comet forms, which described movements of matter not only in the head of a comet, but also in its tail. Basic idea of the theory was that comet tails consisted of particles, leaving the tail and first moving towards the Sun and then moving away from the Sun due to its repulsive forces.

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In 1877 Fyodor Bredikhin worked out the classification of comet tails, which is still popular among scientists. The notable fact about this work is that the classification appeared when nature of interplanetary environment still remained obscure, and data about comets were sparse. According to Fyodor Bredikhin, tails of first category are directed from the Sun. Today scientists know that these tails are plasma, consisting of ions, taken away from comet’s nucleus by solar wind. Tails of second category are curved and move backwards from comet’s orbital movement. These ones consist of dust particles, which permanently leave the nucleus and accelerate due to light pressure. Third category of tails appears when dust leaves comet nucleus with something like the explosion: particle cloud grows due to different acceleration, which particles of different size obtain after exposure to light. Bredikhin was among those few people, who observed spectra of comet heads at those times.

 

 

”Comet”
Comet
Studies of comets naturally transformed into astronomy of meteors. The scientist contributed to Schiaparelli’s theory of meteor flow formation as a result of comet nuclei decomposition. In order to accumulate data on meteors, Bredikhin organized systematic observations of meteor flows and reported the results in “Studied of origin of space meteors and their flows” in 1903.

Fyodor Bredikhin conducted research in many other fields of astrophysics. The scientist took active part in launching systematic observations of our star’s chromosphere via protuberance microscope; taking pictures of sun spots and flares; studying variable stars and planetary nebulas. Bredikhin contributed a lot to instrumental optics and gravimetry. His article “Galileo’s process: new data” (1871) stimulated keen interest of scientific community. In this article Bredikhin performed a thorough independent analysis and concluded that inquisition had forged documents, proving Galileo’s guilt. Bredikhin was among those, who founded Moscow Society of Mathematics in 1864 and had many other deserved scientific titles.

Eminent astronomer died in St. Petersburg on May 1, 1904.

Source: Krugosvet

Kizilova Anna


Tags: Russian science Fyodor Bredikhin Russian astronomers   




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