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Born Stará Boleslav, Bohemia, (Czech Republic), 10 June 1901
Died Brandýs nad Labem, (Czech Republic), 10 January 1965
Though Antonín Bečvář suffered all through his life from a skeletal irregularity, he made important contributions to astronomy through both his observational programs and the very detailed atlases and catalogs that he developed to support those programs. Bečvář began systematic observations of the night sky from a modest observatory he built in 1927 in his family's garden. Although he started his studies at Charles University in Prague, those studies were interrupted, and he did not graduate until 1934. He received a Ph.D. degree in meteorology from the Institute of Meteorology where he also found his first employment.
Bečvář's personal illness led him to Slovakia's High Tatras Mountains, where he would later spend most of his astronomical career. Bečvář became fascinated with the weather and climate of the Tatras, especially with the many different kinds of clouds...