Blazhko, Sergei

Blazhko, Sergei Nikolaevich


Born Nov. 5 (17), 1870, in Khotimsk, Mogilev Province; died Feb. 11,1956, in Moscow. Soviet astronomer. Corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1929).

Blazhko graduated from Moscow University in 1892, becoming a docent and professor there in 1910 and 1918, respectively. He directed the Moscow Observatory from 1918 to 1931. His main works dealt with the study of variable stars and practical astronomy. In 1895 he began to systematically photograph the stellar sky with a short-focus camera. In his dissertation On the Algol-type Stars, Blazhko published the first general theory of eclipsed Algol-type variable stars. He studied more than 200 variable stars of different types and was the first to discover regular changes in the curve and period of brightness in certain short-period cepheids—the so-called Blazhko effect. He proposed a new method of photographing asteroids and constructed several original devices. A recipient of the State Prize of the USSR in 1952, Blazhko was awarded two Orders of Lenin, two other orders, and various medals.


“Sergei Nikolaevich Blazhko” (obituary). Astronomicheskii zhurnal, 1956, vol. 33, issue 2.