Astronomy:List of Russian astronomers and astrophysicists

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Staff of the Pulkovo Observatory (around 1883–1886). Otto Wilhelm von Struve is in the center.

This list of Russia n astronomers and astrophysicists includes the famous astronomers, astrophysicists and cosmologists from the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation.

Alphabetical list


  • Tateos Agekian, one of the pioneers of Russian and world Stellar dynamics, discoverer of two evolutionary sequences of stellar systems: nearly spherical and strongly flattened
  • Vladimir Albitsky, discovered a significant number of asteroids
  • Viktor Ambartsumian, one of the founders of theoretical astrophysics, discoverer of stellar associations, founder of Byurakan Observatory in Armenia
  • Andrejs Auzāns, director of the Tashkent observatory, 1911-1916


  • Nikolai P. Barabashov, co-author of the ground breaking publication of the first pictures of the far side of the Moon in 1961, called Atlas of the Other Side of the Moon; a crater and a planet were named after him
  • Vladimir Belinski, an author of the BKL singularity model of the Universe evolution
  • Igor Belkovich, made contributions to astronomy; the crater Bel'kovich on the Moon is named after him
  • Aristarkh Belopolsky, invented a spectrograph based on the Doppler effect, among the first photographers of stellar spectra
  • Sergey Belyavsky, discovered the bright naked-eye comet C/1911 S3 (Beljawsky); discovered and co-discovered a number of asteroids
  • Gennady S. Bisnovatyi-Kogan, first determined the maximum mass of a hot neutron star
  • Sergey Blazhko, discovered a secondary variation of the amplitude and period of some RR Lyrae stars and related pulsating variables, now known as the Blazhko effect
  • Semion Braude, co-developed large-scale radio interferometers for precise examination of extraterrestrial radio sources
  • Fyodor Bredikhin, developed the theory of comet tails, meteors and meteor showers, a director of the Pulkovo Observatory
  • Matvei Petrovich Bronstein, theoretical physicist; pioneer of quantum gravity; author of works in astrophysics, semiconductors, quantum electrodynamics and cosmology
  • Jacob Bruce, statesman, naturalist and astronomer, founder of the first observatory in Russia (in the Sukharev Tower)



  • Denis Denisenko, astronomer, author of more than 25 scientific articles and a presenter at five international conferences
  • A. G. Doroshkevich, along with Igor Novikov, discovered cosmic microwave background radiation as a detectable phenomenon
  • Alexander Dubyago, expert in theoretical astrophysics; the lunar crater Dubyago is named after him and his father, Dmitry Ivanovich Dubyago
  • Dmitry Dubyago, expert in theoretical astrophysics, astrometry, and gravimetry; a crater on the Moon is named after him and his son


  • Vasily Engelhardt, researched comets, asteroids, nebulae, and star clusters, in an observatory he built himself




  • Naum Idelson, astronomer





  • Benjamin Markarian, discovered Markarian's Chain
  • Dmitri Dmitrievich Maksutov, inventor of the Maksutov telescope
  • Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Mikhailov, credited with leading the post-war revival of the Pulkovo Observatory
  • Nikolay Moiseyev, expert in celestial mechanics, worked on mathematical methods of celestial calculations and theory of comet formation



  • Pavel Petrovich Parenago, known for contributions to the field of galactic astronomy
  • Yevgeny Perepyolkin, observed the proper motion of stars with respect to extragalactic nebula
  • Solomon Pikelner, made a significant contribution to the theory of the interstellar medium, solar plasma physics, stellar atmospheres, and magnetohydrodynamics
  • Elena V. Pitjeva, expert in the field of Solar System dynamics and celestial mechanics


  • Viktor Safronov, astronomer and cosmologist, author of the planetesimal hypothesis of planet formation
  • Kaspar Gottfried Schweizer, discovered five comets, and found one NGC object
  • Andrei Severny, known for his work on solar flares and astronomical observations from artificial satellites
  • Nikolai Shakura, developed theory of accretion and astrophysics of x-ray binaries, co-developed the standard theory of disk accretion
  • Grigory Shayn, astronomer and astrophysicist, the first director of the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory, co-developed a method for measurement of stellar rotation
  • Vladislav Shevchenko, astronomer, specialized in lunar exploration
  • Iosif Shklovsky, astronomer and astrophysicist, author of several discoveries in the fields of radio astronomy and cosmic rays, extraterrestrial life researcher
  • Tamara Mikhaylovna Smirnova, co-discovered the periodic comet 74P/Smirnova-Chernykh, along with Nikolai Stepanovich Chernykh; discovered various asteroids; the asteroid 5540 Smirnova was named in her honor
  • Friedrich Wilhelm Struve, astronomer and geodesist, founder and the first director of the Pulkovo Observatory, prominent researcher and discoverer of new double stars, initiated the construction of 2,820 km long Struve Geodetic Arc, progenitor of the Struve family of astronomers
  • Otto Lyudvigovich Struve, astronomer and astrophysicist, co-developed a method for measurement of stellar rotation, directed several observatories in the U.S.
    F.W. Struve
  • Otto Wilhelm von Struve, astronomer, director of the Pulkovo Observatory, discovered over 500 double stars
  • Rashid Sunyaev, astrophysicist, co-predicted the Sunyaev–Zel'dovich effect of CMB distortion


  • Gavriil Tikhov, invented the feathering spectrograph; one of the first to use color filters to increase the contrast of surface details on planets


  • George Volkoff, predicted the existence of neutron stars
  • Boris Vorontsov-Velyaminov, discovered the absorption of light by interstellar dust, author of the Morphological Catalogue of Galaxies
  • Alexander Vyssotsky, created first list of nearby stars identified not by their motions in the sky, but by their intrinsic, spectroscopic, characteristics



  • Aleksandr Zaitsev, coined the term Messaging to Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, conducted the first intercontinental radar astronomy experiment, transmitted the Cosmic Calls and Teen Age Message
  • Yakov Zel'dovich, physicist, astrophysicist and cosmologist, the first to suggest that accretion discs around massive black holes are responsible for the quasar radiation, co-predicted the Sunyaev–Zel'dovich effect of CMB distortion
  • Abram Leonidovich Zelmanov, astronomer
  • Sergei Alexandrovich Zhevakin, identified ionized helium as the valve for the heat engine that drives the pulsation of Cepheid variable stars
  • Lyudmila Zhuravlyova, discovered a number of asteroids; ranked 43rd by Harvard University's list of those who discovered minor planets; credited with having discovered 200 such bodies
  • Felix Ziegel, author of more than 40 popular books on astronomy and space exploration, generally regarded as a founder of Russian ufology

See also

  • List of astronomers
  • List of astrophysicists
  • List of Russian scientists
  • List of Russian inventors
  • Science and technology in Russia
  • Pulkovo Observatory