Levitsky Grigory Vasilyevich
Born in Kharkov, in the family of a lawyer. After
graduating from the Kharkov gymnasium, he entered the Kharkov
University, in 1871 he moved to the Mining Institute in St.
Petersburg, then to St. Petersburg University, after which he was
left with him to prepare for a professorship.
In 1876–1879 Levitsky
worked at the Pulkovo Observatory, first as a supernumerary
astronomer, and then as a calculator. In
1879 he defended his thesis "On the determination of the orbits of
double stars", received a master's degree and was appointed first as
an associate professor at Kharkov University in the department of
astronomy and geodesy, and from 1884 for ten years he held the
position of professor at this university.
Levitsky did a lot for the construction and equipment of the
Kharkov Observatory. He
organized systematic observations of sunspots in it, established a
meridian circle, studied methods of determining the orbits of binary
stars, determined the difference in the longitudes of Kharkov and
The range of scientific interests of Levitsky was very wide. In
addition to astronomical research, he conducted gravimetric
observations, worked with horizontal pendulums serving to register
tidal oscillations of the earth's crust.
He can rightly be considered one of the founders of Russian
seismology and a pioneer in the use of horizontal pendulums for
seismic purposes. He
paid much attention to searching for criteria for earthquake
During the years 1894–1908 Levitsky
worked at the University of Tartu as a professor since 1898, and in
the same time he headed the Tartu Observatory.
In the following years, Levitsky was a trustee of the Vilna and
Warsaw educational districts, and taught at the Women's Pedagogical
Institute in Petrograd. In
chairman of the Russian Astronomical Society.
Levitsky showed great interest in the history of national
science, writing works on the history of the Tartu and Kharkov
He died in Petrograd.
the peninsula of De Kolong on the shore of Khariton Laptev. Named
by Russian Polar Expedition in 1900.