Central State Scientific and Technical Archives of Ukraine

Nauka naukozn. 2021, 3(113): 76-102

Section: Science and technology history
Language: Ukrainian
Abstract: Astronomer-astrometrician Ludwig Struve, a representative of the world-famous Struve scientific dynasty, worked in the field of positional astronomy. The study of the phenomenon of this astronomical dynasty is in the focus of contemporary historical and scientific research, but it has been established that there is no comprehensive work, devoted to the reproduction of full scientific biography of Ludwig Struve. Therefore, the purpose of the article is to generalize the results of a complex historical and biographical study of life and the work of the astronomer Professor Ludwig Struve.

On the basis of scientific works of the scientist and archival documents, for the first time entered into scientific circulation, the main milestones of his biography and stages of research work devoted to defining the positions of stars and studying their own movements; study of binary stars and Lunar eclipses are highlighted. The study found that the Ludwig Struve’s most significant works were the research in which he refined the constant precession calculated the speed of rotation of the Galaxy and determined the coordinates of the apex of the Sun’s way. Thanks to tireless and long-standing organizational activity, Ludwig Struve made a significant contribution to the development and establishment of the Astronomical Observatory of Kharkiv University, re-equipment of its instrumental base, the formation of a full-fledged scientific team, therefore, together with Grigory Levitsky, is rightly considered one of its founders.

The scientific and pedagogical activity of Prof. Struve, who taught courses at Kharkiv University in general, spherical and theoretical astronomy, celestial mechanics, higher geodesy and mathematics were considered. Among his students were outstanding astronomers of the middle XX century — Mykola Barabashov, Borys Gerasymovych, Olexiy Razdolsky, Otto Struve, and Vasyl Fesenkov.

Due to the thoroughness and systematic research, the works of Ludwig Struve, devoted to refining the contour of the Moon and calculating its average radius by processing data observations of total Lunar eclipses, were twice honored the highest awards of the Russian Astronomical Society. All scientific publications of Prof. Struve are analyzed, which allowed to specify the ways of the astronomer’s research, to generalize his creative contribution to the treasury of astronomical science.

Keywords: Ludwig Struve, astrometry, constant precession, Lunar eclipses, apex of the Sun’s way, Struve dynasty, Kharkiv Astronomical Observatory, Kharkiv University, Workshop School of Precision Mechanics


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