Koval’skii, Marian Al’bertovich (Voitekhovich)
Born Aug. 3 (15), 1821, in the city of Dobrzyń, now in Poland; died May 28 (June 9), 1884, in Kazan. Russian astronomer. Corresponding member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences (1863).
A Pole by birth, Koval’skii graduated from the University of St. Petersburg in 1845. In 1852 he became a professor at the University of Kazan. In 1851 he formed a theory of the motion of Neptune, which he refined in 1855. In 1856 he developed with great completeness a theory of eclipses and simultaneously proposed a convenient method for precomputing occultations of stars by the moon. The method for determining the orbits of binary stars developed by him in 1872 has remained one of the best up to the present time. In addition, he conducted extensive observations of the positions of stars (the AG zone catalog from + 75° to +80°). He also worked out an original theory of refraction.
In his most important work, On the Laws of the Proper Motion of the Stars in Bradley’s Catalog (in French, 1859), Koval’skii proposed and extensively applied a method for determining the motion of the solar system in space. In this work he was the first to express mathematically the idea of galactic rotation, having shown its applicability to the system of asteroids, he also suggested a method of polar diagrams to study the principles of the motions of stars. Koval’skii was a member of a number of Russian and foreign scientific societies.