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 Sergey Blazhko


Born:   November 17, 1870
Deceased:   February 11, 1956

Eminent astronomer

      

Blazhko Sergey Nikolaevich, famous Russian (and Soviet) astronomer, was born on November 17, 1870 in the small town of Khotimsk of Mogilevskaya Province (which is now located in Belarus). Blazhko received higher education in Moscow University and graduated from it in 1892. Since 1894 the scientist worked in the observatory of the university. In 1918 Sergey Blazhko was appointed professor, then his career kept advancing, and in 1929 the scientist became the corresponding member of Soviet Academy of Sciences. For eleven years, between 1920-1931, the researcher took the responsibility of the director of Moscow State University’s observatory. Between 1931 and 1937 Blazhko headed department of astronomy of his home university. Following sixteen years were dedicated to department of astrometry of the same educational institution.

Research of Sergey Blazhko was dedicated to studies of variable stars and practical astronomy. The scientist founded Moscow school of variable stars’ researchers. Blazhko systematically took pictures of the starry sky since 1895 – the scientist wanted to discover variable stars – and his pictures were first items of vast “glass library” of Moscow State University’s observatory. Blazhko was the first who analyzed how limb darkening affected the shape of light curve and orbit determination, developing the method for recording this effect. The astronomer found changes in period and shape of light curve of short-period variable stars of Lyra RR type – these effects now bear his name (“Blazhko effect”).

In 1904 the scientist designed several scientific devices and was among first people of the world, who photographed spectra of two meteors (with his developments) and gave right interpretation of his results. Sergey Blazhko developed new method for detection of small planets in 1919. In 1914 the astronomer observed full solar eclipse and took pictures of solar corona in polarized light, using the camera of his on design. Blazhko was the author of several original devices: slitless stellar spectrograph, the device for detecting variable stars on astronegatives (blink microscope), special amendments in meridian instruments for light reduction while observing star passages, original lens for dial counting and etc.

Sergey Blazhko was an outstanding teacher – the astronomer read lectures in practical and general astronomy. Blazhko was the first professor of Moscow State University, who started reading the course of general astrophysics. The scientist wrote several textbooks in astronomy and a book on history of astronomy in Moscow State University between 1824 and 1920.

For over 20 years Sergey Blazhko headed the Commission for studying variable stars, which was the part of Astronomy Board of Soviet Academy of Sciences. Sergey Blazhko was deservedly awarded many honorable scientific titles and prizes. His name is now on the Moon’s map.

Eminent astronomer died in Moscow on February 11, 1956.

Source: Krugosvet

 


Tags: Russian scientists Russian science Sergei Blazhko   








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