THE LIFE AND SCIENTIFIC WORK OF PRASKOVIA PARKHOMENKO, A UKRAINIAN ASTRONOMER: A HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL STUDY
1 М.А. BALYSHEV
1 Central State Scientific and Technical Archive of Ukraine
Nauka naukozn. 2018, 1(99): 114-137
Section: Science and Technology History
Abstract: The article is dedicated to the study of the life and works of the Ukrainian astrophysicist Praskovia Georgievna Parkhomenko. The author analyzed the scientific activities of P.G. Parkhomenko which was devoted to the researching of the Solar atmosphere, the theoretical aspects of the physics of the Sun, the survey of the Minor Planets and the observation of solar and lunar eclipses (the astronomer’s publications in the leading astronomical domestic and foreign publications are considered, mainly in “Russian Astronomical Journal”, “Astronomische Nachrichten”, “Zeit. wis sen. Photophysik und Photochemie”).
P.G. Parkhomenko participated in a solar-eclipse expedition of 1914 in Genichesk, and she conducted observations of the total Solar eclipse of 1936, known as the “Great Soviet Eclipse”. Parkhomenko cooperated with famous astronomers, such as Otto Struve, Boris Gerasimovich, Vasily Fesenkov, Nikolay Evdokimov, and Nikolay Barabashov in different periods of her scientific biography. She discovered two Minor Planets: “1129 Neujmina” and “1166 Sakuntala” at the Simeiz Astronomical Observatory.
The key milestones of the scientific biography of P.G. Parkhomenko were reconstructed against the background of the development and formation of the Kharkiv Astronomical Observatory in the 20—30s of the 20th century. The article has taken in-depth the events related to Parkhomenko’s dismissal from the Kharkiv Astronomical Observatory and defending her dissertation, that affected on the themes of the astronomer’s scientific activities. In the Crimean period Parkhomenko’s research was devoted to the development of theoretical aspects of the “equilibrium theory”, related with the process of synthesizing complex elements from simpler elements.
The present publication is based on state and departmental archives documents as well as on the oral historical materials about Parkhomenko’s scientific work at the Simeiz Astronomical Observatory, collected by the author in the framework of this investigation. Involved archival documents are first introduced into scientific use.
Keywords: astronomy, physics of the Sun, minor planet, radioactive transfer theory, eclipse, solar atmosphere, Kharkiv Astronomical Observatory, “Russian Astronomical Journal”, Simeiz Astronomical Observatory, Kharkiv State University, expedition, refractor, dissertation.