Pushkov Institute of Terrestrial Magnetism, Ionosphere and Radio Wave Propagation
Russian Academy of Sciences
( founded in 1939 )
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  Gennady Mikhailovich
 (1929 - 1982)


      Gennady Mikhailovich Nikolsky   was born on September 28, 1929 in Rostov-on-Don, Russia. He obtained a degree in Astrophysics from the Astronomical Department of Kiev State University in 1953, where he took up his first job as a scientific assistant to Professor  S.K.Vsekhsvyatsky. In 1956 - 1958 he joined the Astrophysical Institute in Alma-Ata where he studied the zodiacal light, planets, and the airglow. Since 1958 up to his last day he worked in the Institute of Terrestrial Magnetism, Ionosphere and Radio Wave Propagation of the USSR Academy of Sciences (IZMIRAN). Here he set up the Laboratory of Solar Activity which became famous to all experts in Solar Physics.

      Professor Nikolsky has been mainly involved in research on the chromosphere, solar corona and the interplanetary medium. In the early sixties he made major contribution, jointly with G.S.Ivanov-Kholodny, in research on the EUV solar emission and the structure of the chromosphere - corona transition region.

      Gennady Nikolsky was a brilliant experimentator and observer. He designed, jointly with A.A.Sazanov, the world largest coronagraph, of the Lyot type, with a 535 mm objective diameter. Using such a coronagraph installed at the Kislovodsk High-Altitude Station (Caucasus), important results have been obtained on the fine structure of the solar chromosphere. Lately Nikolsky had been actively involved in the design of a new magnetograph based on a Fabry-Perot interferometer, and directed to measurements of weak chromospheric and coronal magnetic fields.

      Professor Nikolsky was generally recognised as an authority in solar eclipse observations. His efforts in promoting space research have been also remarkable. He had been the promotor of the Artifical Solar Eclipse Experiment realized at the joint Soviet - American mission Apollo - Soyuz in 1975. In 1982, with the Soviet - French crew aboard Salyut-7, Nikolsky had been adviser on the Soviet part of the PCN experiment. Unique color photographs of the zodiacal light and of the ionospheric glow were obtained then. Lately, Nikolsky had developed ideas on new and original experiments and studies which he had no time to fulfill.

      Professor Gennady Nikolsky passed away on December 20, 1982, in his 54th year, after a serious illness. His death in the prime of his creative life was a great loss for the astronomic community.