Semenova Taisiya Semenovna

27.09(09.10).1884 – 30.09.1958)


Astronomer. She worked at the Main (Pulkovo) Astronomical Observatory from 1910 to 1958, including in 1910–1923. in Pulkovo and in the years 1923-1958. - in the Nikolaev department of the Main Astronomical Observatory.

Born in the city of Nikolaev, Kherson province (now the Nikolaev region of Ukraine) in the family of a mechanical engineer of the Black Sea Fleet. She had four brothers and a sister.

In 1904 she graduated from the Mariinsky Women's Gymnasium in Nikolaev with a gold medal and in the same year she was accepted to the Physics and Mathematics Faculty of the Higher Women's (Bestuzhev) Courses in St. Petersburg.

In the years 1905-1906 her elder brother Pulkovsky astronomer and surveyor A.S. Vasiliev began processing materials of the Russian-Swedish expedition on the degree measurement of the arc of the earth meridian on about. Svalbard, in which he took part as deputy chief of the expedition’s Russian branch, invited his sister Taisiya to participate in the calculations among other students of the Higher Women's Courses.

After she graduated from the Higher Women's (Bestuzhev) Courses, in 1910 she married Pulkovsky astronomer L.I. Semenova (1878–1965) and began working at the Pulkovo Observatory as a computer, initially employed. She carried out the processing of observations on a zenith telescope, after 1914 she continued calculations for the Large transit instrument. These works are mentioned in the annual Reports of the Director of the Pulkovo Observatory for 1910–1920.

In 1920, the Council of Astronomers of the Observatory elected her to the position of novice calculator, in 1921 - junior calculator.

In 1923 she was elected to the position of senior calculator and seconded with her husband to the Nikolaev branch of the Pulkovo Observatory, whose head Semenov was in 1923–1950.

In 1927, the Astronomers Council elected Semenov as an astronomer-observer and entrusted her with organizing the Time Service in Nikolaev. From 1931, she performed regular observations of the clock corrections on the transit instrument of the German company Ascania-Werke, these observations allowed solving the primary task of the Time Service: determining the exact time (then comparing and storing it).

In 1935, Semenova was appointed as a junior research assistant. For many years she was the only astronomer of the Time Service in Nikolaev and produced superb precision observations of watch stars. Her time tracking system was extremely accurate and stable. In 1938, the Nikolaev Time Service was incorporated into the United Network of Time Services of the USSR.

In 1935-1939 Semenova participated in the collective work of five Soviet observatories to compile a catalog of "geodesic stars." In Nikolaev for this catalog together with L.I. Semenov she observed the direct ascension of stars on the “Ascania-Werke” transit instrument in the horizontal tube repacking mode in lagers (stands), which showed the possibility of effectively using such a tool for high-precision work. Creating a catalog of “geodesic stars” was of great importance not only for the Time Service, but also for establishing the celestial coordinate system, which serves as the basis for solving astrometry, geodesy and celestial mechanics problems.

Since the beginning of the war in connection with the requirements for the darkening of the terrain, no observations of the heavenly bodies were made at night. The front was approaching, and the Nikolaev astronomers began to prepare for evacuation to Tashkent (Uzbekistan). Evacuation of employees and valuable equipment was scheduled for 12.08.1941, but did not take place due to lack of transport.16.08.1941 Nikolaev was occupied, and the Germans appeared in the Observatory. It is time for despair and hard trials.

Having no information from the son of a front-line soldier Ivan (1913–?, As it turned out later, he was recognized as missing in 1944) and daughter Natalia (1916–1948), who managed to evacuate from Nikolaev, Semenov could not stand the nervous tension and time lost her mind. She rushed around the Observatory, looked everywhere and called for her daughter ... With great difficulty, her health was restored.

In the early days of the German occupation, Wehrmacht soldiers often entered the Observatory. They wandered around the Observatory premises, unauthorizedly opened tool boxes and took away everything that attracted their attention. Their “trophies” were 8 chronometers, 2 calculators, a typewriter, binoculars, telescopes, various lenses, etc. The looting decreased when German and Romanian radio stations were stationed at the Observatory, and their guards were put up, and completely stopped after the manager observatory L.I. Semenov turned to the German military command. In 1908 he graduated from the University of Strasbourg, was fluent in German and was able to convince the German military command that the scientific work of the academic Observatory in Nikolaev serves exclusively peaceful purposes and significantly enriches the universal treasury of knowledge. The Germans attached a sign on the door of the Observatory with the inscription: “The observatory is under special protection of the High Command of the German Armed Forces”.

From September 1941, on the orders of the German commandant’s office, the work of the Observatory was resumed and funding received from the city government. The staff of the Observatory in wartime was reduced from 15 to 7 people. Even at that terrible time, the staff did not stop scientific work. Due to the darkening of the night observations were impossible and until 01.09.1942, the electricity at the Observatory was turned off, but daytime were carried out in full. The processing and analysis of pre-war observations were carried out, astronomers were engaged in researching tools, preparing star catalogs for printing, as far as possible the Time Service functioned. 28.03.1944 Nikolaev was released at 6 o'clock in the morning the first Red Army men entered the Observatory. The revival of the Nikolaev Observatory began.

During the German occupation, Semenova worked at the Observatory in the same position as a junior research assistant. In the postwar years, she continued to conduct observations and carried out their processing. Every day, including weekends, she received accurate time signals. Based on the observations of 1947–1952. she created for the purposes of the Time Service a catalog of 254 stars of direct ascent, she is the author of several articles on astrometry.

The main scientific work of Semenov in 1932-1950. combined with the leadership of the scientific library of the Nikolaev Observatory, being the only employee of the library. She was helped by knowledge of a number of languages ​​(French, German, English, Ukrainian). In 1956, for his many years of fruitful work, he was awarded the academic title of junior research assistant. In 1958 she retired.

For her dedicated work and efforts to preserve the Nikolaev Observatory and its instruments during the occupation, Semenov was awarded in 1945 the medal " For Valiant Labor in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.".

She died in Nikolaev, buried there.

Glacial pass and mountain (Tatiana) in the north-eastern part of the Earth Serkap, West Spitsbergen Island.


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