Ernst Öpik


Ernst Öpik

Infobox Scientist
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birth_date = October 23, 1893
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death_date = September 10, 1985
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nationality = Estonian
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field = astronomy
work_institutions = Armagh Observatory
alma_mater = University of Moscow University of Tartu
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prizes = Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1975 Bruce Medal in 1976
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Ernst Julius Öpik (October 23, 1893September 10, 1985) was a notable Estonian astronomer and astrophysicist, who spent the last part of his career (1948–1981) at the Armagh Observatory in Northern Ireland.

Education

Öpik went to University of Moscow to specialize in the study of minor bodies, such as asteroids, comets, and meteors. He completed his doctorate at the University of Tartu.

Astronomical work

In 1922 he correctly predicted the frequency of craters on Mars long before they were detected by space probes. In 1932 he postulated a theory concerning the origins of comets in our solar system. He believed that they originated in a cloud orbiting far beyond the orbit of Pluto. This cloud is now known as the Oort cloud or alternatively the Öpik-Oort Cloud in his honour. He also invented a rocking camera for the study of meteors.

Exile

Öpik fled his native country in 1944 because the approaching Red Army raised fear among Estonians. Living as a refugee in Germany, he became rector of the Baltic University in Exile in the displaced persons camps. In 1948 he was offered a post in Armagh and remained there despite offers of lucrative jobs in America.

Awards

He won the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1975 and the Bruce Medal in 1976.

Legacy

The asteroid 2099 Öpik is named in his honour. His grandson, Lembit Öpik, is currently the Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Montgomeryshire. He himself has some astronomical connection in that he is a noted supporter of searching for asteroids that may collide with the Earth.

References

External links

* [http://www.phys-astro.sonoma.edu/BruceMedalists/Opik/index.html Sonoma State University on Ernst Öpik]
* [http://star.arm.ac.uk/history/opik/biog.html Armagh Observatory on Ernst Öpik]
* [http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23392706-details/Lembit%20and%20his%20very%20cheeky%20family/article.do Evening Standard (London); "Lembit and his Very Cheeky Family"]


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  • Ernst Öpik — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Ernst Öpik. Ernst Julius Öpik (23 de octubre de 1893, Kunda, Estonia 10 de septiembre de 1985, Bangor, Irlanda del Norte) fue un astrónomo y astrofísico …   Wikipedia Español

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