Remarkable Estonian astronomers

The world-famous trio :  

Friedrich Georg Wilhelm Struve

  • Using the Big Fraunhofer determined the distance to Vega
  • measurements of more than 3000 multiple stars
  • Geodetic arc measurements from the Black to the White Sea which belongs from 2005 to the UNESCO heritage list
  • Founder of the East-European astronomy in the first half of the 19th century

Bernhard Schmidt

  • Discoverer of the Schmidt Telescope System - the best telescope of the 20th century
  • and a maker a lot of of these telescopes

Ernst Julius Öpik

    Pioneering works in many fields of astronomy:
  • small bodies of the Solar System
  • nuclear energy in stars and stellar evolution
  • distance to the Andromeda nebulae and
  • short scale of the age of the Universe

Up to the 20th century

20th century

21st century

  • Jaan Einasto
  • Arved Sapar
  • Ene Ergma

Estonian origin

Ernst Julius Öpik

b.1893 Kunda, Estonia - d.1985 Bangor, Northern Ireland
World-famous Estonian astronomer; Awards: RAS Gold medal 1975, Bruce medal 1976

Pioneering works and discoveries:

  • Observational methods and theory of meteors (1937)
  • Studies on planetary atmospheres and surfaces
  • Thermonuclear power of stars (1922)
  • Stellar structure and evolution (1938)
  • Determination of distance of the Andromeda galaxy (1922)
  • Estimation of the age of the Universe (short scale) (1933)
  • Öpik-Oort cloud of comets (1932)

Karl Tenner (Carl Friedrich Tenner)

b.1783 Auvere, Narva, Estonia - d.1859 Warsaw, Poland
    Member of the St.Petersbourg Academy of Sciences; along with W. Struve measured the meridian arc (Struve arc) from White Sea to Black Sea (2800 km)

Johann Heinrich Mädler

b.1794 Berlin - d.1874 Hannover, Germany
  • 1840-1865 director of the Tartu Observatory (Sternwarte, Dorpat)

Bernhard Schmidt

b.1879 Naissaar, Estonia - d.1935 Bergedorf, Hamburg, Germany

Rein Silberberg

b.1932 Estonia - d.2001 Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
  • R. Silberberg was a leading researcher on cosmic rays and high energy particles in USA, ( Naval Research Laboratory).

Leonard Vello Kuhi

(b.1936 Hamilton, Ontario - )

Estonian origin astrophysicist in USA

  • President (1978-1980) and vice president of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP),
  • treasurer of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) (1987-88,1996-),
  • member of AURA Board
  • 1965-1989 - University of California (Berkeley) Astronomy Professor
  • 1989-2005 Minnesota University, Astronomy Professor ; retired (2005)

Tarmo Oja

  • Astronomy professor in Uppsala University (Sweden)

Uno Kopvillem

(b.1923 Tallinn, Estonia - d.1991)

    Discovery of light echo effect, method of detecting of gravitons, gravitinos and photinos

Tartu Old Observatory | Tartu Astronomy Club Oct 08 , 2007