Sykora  Iosif Iosifovich

(01.16.1870 - 23.02.1944)

Russian and Czech astronomer.

Born in Kharkov in the family of a Czech teacher, invited to Russia to teach ancient languages in gymnasiums.

In 1888, Sikora graduated from the Third Kharkov Gymnasium and entered the Physics and Mathematics Faculty of Kharkov University. In 1892, with a university degree of 1st degree, he was enrolled as a supernumerary astronomer at the Kharkov Astronomical Observatory, which in those years was headed by Grigory Levitsky. Sikora was assigned to observe sunspots and prominences. For these studies, the young scientist was awarded in 1898 the Prize of the Russian Astronomical Society and the letter of thanks of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Literature and Art.

In 1896, Sikora, as part of a small expedition of the Russian Astronomical Society, traveled to Lapland to observe a total solar eclipse on July 28 (August 9).  According to the results of successful observations, he published several scientific articles.

In 1898, Sikora went to work at the Yuryev Observatory, where he continued research on solar protuberances started in Kharkov.

The following year, Sikora joined the famous Russian-Swedish expedition, whose task was to carry out degree measurements in Svalbard. The Russian part of the expedition was headed by geologist Academician F.N. Chernyshev, the program of astronomical and geodetic works of the Russian expedition was developed by the director of the Pulkovo Observatory academician O.A. Backlund.

During this expedition, Sikora was the first in the world to obtain auroral spectrograms. He published the preliminary results of these studies as early as 1900. Sikora's merits were awarded the Order of St. Anne of the 3rd degree and a lifetime pension of 200 rubles. in year.

Inspired by the study of auroras, a scientist in the years 1902-1903. I went to observe them on the Kola Peninsula, where he founded several astrophysical stations that conducted observations of the aurora until 1911.

The next stage of the life of Sikora, covering the period of 1905-1911, is connected with the work at the Tashkent Observatory. This period is characterized by the fact that Sikora significantly expanded the scope of his scientific interests, including seismological observations. On his initiative and direct participation, a seismic station of the 11th category was organized in Verny (before that there was only one station in the whole Turkestan region in Tashkent), seismographs were installed in Kashgar (northwestern China) and in Przhevalsk. Later, new seismic stations appeared in Samarkand and Osh. During this period, Sikora himself developed a simple-design seismograph, on which the Karatag earthquake of October 8 (21), 1907 was recorded.

Sikora constantly combined scientific work with teaching, but in the fall of 1911 he decided to devote himself entirely to teaching. During this period, which continued until the end of the Civil War, he taught in gymnasiums, colleges, was an associate professor and professor at the Ivanovo-Voznesensky Polytechnic Institute, headed the astronomical study at Perm University, read public lectures in Kharkov and Petrograd, and worked as a teacher in the department of astronomy at Kharkov University.

In 1921, Sikora's activities in Soviet Russia were abruptly interrupted. The Soviet authorities decided to expel all Czechs and Slovaks as a punishment for the revolt of the Czechoslovak Corps in 1918. In October 1921 he was sent to Czechoslovakia.

Since 1922, Sikora worked as an astronomer, first in a small observatory in Staraya Dyala, southern Slovakia, and then at the Ondrejov Observatory, the largest in the Czech Republic, 40 km south-east of Prague. He is engaged in research of meteors, new photos of which were published by him in 1924 and 1927. in the Bulletin of the Astronomical Society of France.

He died in Ondřejov, buried in the local cemetery.

An island in the Lenin Strait in the Nordensheld archipelago. Named by Russian Polar Expedition in 1901.

A glacier in the northeastern part of the Circus Land on the island of Western Spitsbergen.


Return to the main page