Pulat Babadzhanov, 1930–2023

Pulat Babadzhanov

Pulat Babadzhanov, former head of the Department of Meteor Astronomy of the Institute of Astrophysics of the Tajik SSR Academy of Sciences, passed away on February 10, 2023. He was an expert in the field of interplanetary dust research.

Babadzhanov was born on October 15, 1930, in Tajikistan. He first showed interest in the study of astronomy at the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics of the Leninabad State Pedagogical Institute, where he graduated with honors in 1949. He began his scientific activity in 1950 as a graduate student, first at the Stalinabad Astronomical Observatory of the Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan, and from 1951 at the State Astronomical Institute. In 1954 he defended his dissertation for the degree of Candidate in Physical and Mathematical Sciences at the Moscow State University. In 1970, he defended his dissertation for the degree of Doctor in Physical and Mathematical Sciences. In 1973 Babadzhanov was elected as academician of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tajikistan and received the degree of professor.

An outstanding scientist in the field of interplanetary dust research, Babadzhanov was the author of more than 300 scientific papers and 8 monographs. His work covered the distribution of meteoroid dust in interplanetary space, the density of the meteoroid stream encountered by Earth, the physics of meteor phenomena, the physical parameters of Earth’s upper atmosphere determined by meteor observing methods, the evolution of meteoroid swarms and their relationship with comets and asteroids, as well as the development and implementation of new methods for studying meteor phenomena.

Babadzhanov was a member of the Astronomical Council of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, the International Astronomical Union (IAU), and the Bureau of the Commission 22 “Meteors and Interplanetary Dust” of the IAU, serving as President of this commission from 1985 to 1988. He also served as chair of the working group of the Astronomical Council of the USSR Academy of Sciences “Meteoric substance,” as well as a member of the International Committee for Space Research (COSPAR) and the Royal Astronomical Society of Great Britain.

For merits in the development of science and training of personnel, Babadzhanov was the recipient of many awards during his lifetime. Minor planet 7164 “Babadzhanov” was named in his honor.

For more about Babadzhanov’s life and legacy, visit https://www.meteornews.net/2023/02/20/obituary-babadzhanov-pulat-babadzhanovich-15-october-1930-10-february-2023/.

— Text courtesy of Meteor News