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Paper: Vsevolod Viktorovich Stratonov (1869–1938): an Astronomer Driven by Fate from the Middle East to Prague
Volume: 520, Astronomical Heritage of the Middle East
Page: 221
Authors: Šolc, M.; Hyklová, P.
Abstract: Vsevolod Viktorovich Stratonov was born in Odessa, graduated from the local university, and began working there for two years at the university observatory. He spent the next two years at Pulkovo Observatory, where he acquired a large degree of skill in photographic techniques. In 1895 he moved to Tashkent and remained there as an astrophysicist at the observatory for ten years. In 1905, Stratonov left his career as a practical astronomer due to an eye disease. He became the deputy manager of the tsarist directorium and worked in public service for the Caucasus mountain regions, reorganized the Polytechnical University in Tbilisi, and gave astronomy lectures at the high school for girls. In 1911 he was appointed the deputy director of the Imperial state-owned bank in the town of Tver. During the revolution of 1917 he lost this position. Afterwards, he was named Professor of Astronomy at the Moscow State University. In Moscow, Stratonov successfully established the State Astrophysical Institute (GAFI). His hope was to set up a large astrophysical observatory and several branch observatories from Odessa to Vladivostok, and to include the observatory in Tashkent. After his forced emigration in 1922, the project continued under the leadership of Fesenkov, and led to the creation of the Sternberg Astrophysical Institute in 1931. In 1923, the Stratonov family moved to Czechoslovakia, via Berlin. Stratonov became a teacher at the Russian People's University and held numerous popular lectures in and outside of Prague, and also abroad. After acquiring Czech citizenship in 1938 he was appointed as a professor of Astronomy at the Czech Technical University in Prague. Decreasing mental abilities, or perhaps other causes led Stratonov to the final chapter in his life—his death by suicide. He found his final rest at the Russian cemetery in Prague. During the Soviet period, Stratonov's name was erased from the official history of astronomy. Only the past decades have come to show the significant role of this astronomer played. He represented a significant link between the Middle East and Central Europe.
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