Savich Alexey Nikolaevich
Russian astronomer, member of the Academy of Sciences (since 1862).
Born in Belovodsk, Sumy County, Kharkov Province.
In 1829 he graduated from the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics
of Kharkov University, in 1833 received a master's degree in
astronomy for speaking “On different ways to determine the longitude
and latitude of places”, after which he was sent to a professorial
institute at the Derpt (now Yuryevsky) University. Under
the leadership of V.Ya. Struve Savich
acquired extensive information in practical astronomy and the
experience of an excellent observer.In 1836–1838 He
was sent to the Caucasus to level the space (824 miles) between the
Caspian and Black Seas, finally establishing the fact that the
Caspian Sea is more than ten fathoms below the Black Sea. On
the basis of this work, Savich prepared and defended his doctoral
At the end of 1839 he received an invitation to St. Petersburg
University for the post of professor in the department of astronomy
and higher geodesy.
The works of Savich brought him an honorable place among members
of the astronomical community. His
research interests included the definition of the orbits of comets,
planets and their satellites, the study of astronomical refraction,
barometric leveling, the application of probability theory to the
processing of observations. Great
role Savich and as a teacher and educator of youth. He
wrote: “The application of practical astronomy to the geographical
definition of places", published in 1845 and 1869 - 1871. In
terms of content, this is a complete guide to the use of portable
astronomical instruments, outlining the best techniques for
producing observation and for calculating them. It
was twice translated into German and for many years served both in
Russia and abroad, as a practical astronomy textbook. In
1857, Savich published a no less valuable training manual -
“Application of probability theory to the calculation of
book was also an excellent guide to the subject. At
the end of his professorship, he undertook the publication of an
astronomy course, for which his lectures at the university served as
first volume of this publication, Spherical Astronomy, was published
in 1874, and the last (containing the theoretical part) was
published after his death. With
these works, Savich filled a significant gap in the Russian academic
literature and to a high degree contributed to the spread and
facilitate the study of astronomy both in Russia and abroad.
St. Petersburg University is obliged to Savich by the foundation
of a small educational astronomical observatory. Contemporaries
noted that “for 40
years teaching astronomy and higher geodesy, he contributed so much
to the fame of his physics and mathematics faculty with his works
and personal activities that the St. Petersburg University became
the center where people from all over Russia wanted to study
thus the main engine and distributor of astronomical education in
our country, Savich became the teacher of most modern Russian
astronomers and professors”.
He died in his estate Grace Tula province.
As Professor S. Glazenap wrote in his biographical
essay, “after listening to the liturgy in the parish church, he
visited a sick priest and talked with him about the significance of
the celebration of the Dormition of the Mother of God and the
immortality of the soul.Returning
home, he sat down to rest on a bench in his garden and died quietly”.
He was buried in a family place at the Smolensk
Lutheran cemetery in St. Petersburg. Tombstone
Mountain, valley, stream and lake in
the southern part of the island of West Spitsbergen.