Rykachev Mikhail Aleksandrovich

Meteorologist, Academician, Director of the State Certification Institute, Chairman of the Aeronautical Department of the Russian Technical Society.
Born in the village of Nikolaev, Yaroslavl Province, in the family of a naval officer.
Rykachev received his primary education at home. At the age of 14 he entered the Naval Cadet Corps, and then the Naval Academy, after which in 1865 he was sent on a foreign trip to get acquainted with the activities of meteorological and magnetic observatories in England, France and Germany. After returning to Petersburg in 1867, Rykachev, who showed himself from the best side, became an employee of the Main Physical Observatory. The G.I.  Wild Observatory headed at the same time  offered him the post of his deputy. Their fruitful cooperation lasted for 27 years. During this period, they managed to transform the system of meteorological and magnetic observations in Russia, significantly increase the number of observatories, and lay the foundations of the Russian weather service. With the active participation of Wild and Rykachev, a magnetic and meteorological observatory was created in Pavlovsk, which soon became exemplary in Europe. Great is the role of Wild and Rykachev in the organization and conduct of the I International Polar Year.
In the 1870s, Rykachev was a member of the commission of the Imperial Russian Geographical Society to develop a plan for studying the northern seas of Russia. He formulated and introduced into practice the basic principles of the weather service for the northern seas. When forecasting weather in the Far North and in the adjacent regions, Rykachev attached special importance to “accurate and competent knowledge of the size and condition of the floating ice at any given time”.
Carrying out a huge amount of organizational and administrative work, especially during his service as director of the Main Physical Observatory after Wild retired in 1895, Rykachev did not cease active scientific activities. His own scientific studies are devoted to meteorology, terrestrial magnetism, physical geography, aeronautics. In 1868–1873 Rykachev made a series of flights on a balloon to study the free atmosphere. On his initiative, the Russian aeronautics, together with the Main Physical Observatory, began to conduct observations on the shape and movement of clouds, which had an important practical outlet for meteorology. In 1877, for his work “Types of Cyclone Paths in Europe”, Rykachev was awarded by the Imperial Russian Geographical Society  by medal of Count F. P. Litke, and in 1895 - the highest award of the Imperial Russian Geographical Society - the Great Konstantinovsky Medal.
The age and health undermined by overworked labor forced Rykachev to leave the post of director of the observatory in 1913, which was greatly perceived by geophysicists of Russia and the whole world.The International Meteorological Committee, geophysical institutions and universities of many countries expressed deep gratitude to him for his dedicated and fruitful service to science.
After retiring from the post of director, Rykachev did not stop active scientific activities. During this period, he published a monograph on the causes and consequences of the catastrophic floods of 1908, which brought many troubles to Russia, and took an active part in the work of the Commission for the Study of the Productive Forces of Russia.
Rykachev met the revolution very cool.
He died in Petersburg and is buried in the Smolensk Orthodox cemetery: a granite stela.
An island in Middendorf Bay near the coast of Khariton Laptev. Named by the Russian Polar Expedition of E. V. Toll in 1900.
Mountains on the east coast of the island of West Spitsbergen. Named in 1899–1901 by expedition "degree measurement".
Glacier on the west coast of the northern island of Novaya Zemlya. Named in 1913  by G.Ya. Sedov.


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