Reference Work Entry

Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

pp 1242-1244


Kozyrev, Nikolai Alexandrovich

  • William SheehanAffiliated withLowell Observatory Email author 
  • , Thomas A. DobbinsAffiliated withFort Meyers

BornSaint Petersburg, Russia, 2 September 1908

Diednear Leningrad (Saint Petersburg, Russia), 27 February 1983

Russian astrophysicist Nikolai Kozyrev is best remembered for his claim that he recorded photographically the spectra of emission from gas on the Moon no fewer than four times. This has been widely accepted as evidence that the Moon is not (quite) geologically dead.

Kozyrev graduated from the University of Leningrad in 1928 and, in 1931, was appointed to the staff at Pulkov Astronomical Observatory. He also worked at various times at the observatories in Kharkov, Ukraine, and in the Crimea. Kozyrev was part of the large group of Pulkovo Observatory astronomers (most famously Boris Gerasimovich) who were arrested in 1936 and imprisoned or executed. Kozyrev appears briefly in the memoir The Gulag Archipelago by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, because the author was deeply impressed by his efforts to continue to carry out work in astrophysics under extraordinarily hostile circumstances. Rel ...

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