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Sekanina Zdeněk

PhDr., RNDr.
Born June 12, 1936 in Mladá Boleslav

  • Honorary member of Learned Society since 1996

Educational and professional preparation:

  • 1954, graduate, academic secondary school, Mladá Boleslav;
  • 1954-1959, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University (FMP CU);
  • 1963, RNDr. and CSc., FMP CU

Employment and academic positions:

  • 1959-1966, research associate, People’s Observatory, Prague-Petřín;
  • 1965 and 1968-1969, visiting scientific worker, Institut d’ Astrophysique, Universite de Liege, Cointe-Ougree (Belgium);
  • 1966, visiting scientist, Hamburger Sternwarte, Hamburg-Bergerdorf, Hamburg (SRN);
  • 1967-1968, research associate, Centre of Numerical Mathematics, FMP CU;
  • 1969-1980, physicist, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge, Massachusetts (USA); 1980, scientific worker (from 1984, head scientific worker), Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology (CIT), Pasadena, California (USA);
  • 1970-1980, Deputy Director, Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams (International Astronomical Union);
  • 1977-1980, member, Comet Science Working Group, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA);
  • 1977-1980, consultant, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, CIT;
  • 1980-1989, member, scientific team (co-investigator) in Dust Impact Detector System (DIDSY) experiment on Giotto interplanetary probe sent aloft by European Space Agency (ESA) to Halley’s comet;
  • 1980-1989, principal U.S. co-investigator in Particulate Impact Analyzer (PIA) experiment on same interplanetary probe;
  • 1980-1989, member, NASA/ESA Comet Halley Environment Working Group, reorganized (1982) as Interagency Comet Halley Environment Working Group;
  • 1982-1991, scientific editor, The Comet Halley Archive, International Halley Watch (IHW);
  • 1982-1991, discipline specialist, IHW Near-nucleus Studies Network;
  • 1986, member, consulting editorial board, International Comet Quarterly;
  • 1988-1991, co-investigator, number of cometary projects for Hubble Space Telescope; 1994-present, co-investigator for STARDUST Discovery Mission project;
  • 1996, member, fourth working group for Formation and Composition of Comets project, International Space Science Institute, Bern (Switzerland)

Membership in selected domestic scientific bodies:

  • 1946-1969, Member, Czechoslovak Astronomical Society
  • 1963-1969, member, editorial board, Kosmické rozhledy
  • 2001, elected honorary member, Czech Astronomical Society

Membership and positions in international organizations and societies:

  • 1967, Member, International Astronomical Union (IAU) Commission 15, 20 and 22, member, Organization Committee of Commission 22
  • 1976-1982, Member, Organization Committee of Commission 15
  • 1979-1985, 1988-1994, Member, Working Group of Commission 15 pro Komety
  • 1976, Member, Committee on Space Research (COSPAR), Working Group 3, Panel C (cosmic dust), reorganized in 1979 as Interdisciplinary Scientific Commission B, Sub-commission B.1 (Space Related Studies of Small Bodies in the Solar System); Executive Committee Member, American Astronomical Society)
  • 1981-1989, Member, Planetary Society
  • 2000, Member, Division for Planetary Sciences, American Astronomical Society

Notable awards:

  • 1976, Asteroid 1913 named “Sekanina” by IAU
  • 1980, Plaque for Excellent Scientific Achievement, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
  • 1985, Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal, NASA
  • Listed in Who’s Who in America; Who’s Who in Science and Engineering; American Men and Women of Science, 2000 Outstanding Scientists of the 21st Century, International Biographical Centre.

Selected publications:

  • Rotation and Precession of Cometary Nuclei. Annual review of Earth and Planetary Sciences 9, 113-145 (1981)
  • The Problem of Split Comets in Review. Comets (L. L. Wilkenig, ed.), University of Arizona, Tucson, 251-287 (1982)
  • The Tunguska Event: No Cometary Signature in Evidence. Astronomical Journal 88, 1382-1414 (1983)
  • Cometary Activity, Discrete Outgassing Areas, and Dust-Jet Formation. Comets in the Post-Halley Era (R. L. Newburn Jr., M. Neugebauer, J. Rahe, Ed.), Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, 769-823 (1991)
  • Encke, the comet. Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada 85, 324-376 (1991).
  • Comprehensive Model for the Nucleus of Periodic Comet Tempel 2 and Its Activity. Astronomical Journal 102, 350-388 (1991)
  • Tidal Breakup of the Nucleus of Comet Shoemaker-Loevy 9. The Collision of Comet Shoemaker-Loevy 9 and Jupiter (K. S. Noll, H. A. Weaver, P. d. Feldman, ed.), Cambridge University, Cambridge, U.K., 55-80 (1996)
  • Detection of a Satellite Orbiting the Nucleus of the Hale-Bopp Comet (C/1995 O1). Earth, Moon, and Planets 77, 155-163 (1999)
  • Cometary Dust (Z. Sekanina, M. S. Hanner, E. K. Jessberger, M. N. Fomenkova). Interplanetary Dust (E. Gruen, B. A. S. Gustafson, S. F. Dermott, H. Fechtig, ed.), Springer Verlag (Astronomy and Astrophysics Library), Berlin. Heidelberg, 95-161 (2001).
  • Statistical Investigation and Modeling of Sungrazing Comets Discovered with the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory. Astrophysical Journal 566, 577-598 (2002).

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News

25.07.19

Luboš Perek is celebrating his 100th year

Founding fellow of the Learned Society and its doyen, astronomer doc. RNDr. Luboš Perek, DrSc, is celebrating his 100th birthday on 26 July 2019. He is an indelible part of history as the person who helped define cosmic space, he was the first to point out the issue of cosmic waste and was also a teacher to the most important Czechoslovak astronomers. Let us express our respect and admiration of the extraordinary scientific career of a person who worked tirelessly and continues to work. The Learned Society wishes Mr Perek health, optimism and joy in the oncoming years.

23.07.19

The Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic has appealed to the Hungarian President to support academic freedom

On Friday 19 July the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and the Learned Society of the Czech Republic sent a letter to Hungarian President János Ánder, in which they state their concerns regarding the situation in respect to management and funding of scientific activities in Hungary. An act, according to which not the Academy of Sciences, but a thirteen-member political committee, will decide on research, funding of scientific activities and establishment or closure of scientific workplaces, will come into force on 1 September.

07.07.19

The loss of Learned Society Fellow prof. Josef Koutecký

We regret to inform that prof. Josef Koutecký, a fellow of the Learned Society, a renowned physician and the founder of paediatric oncology in this country, passed away on 5 July 2019 at the age of 88. He founded paediatric oncology here in 1964 and a separate paediatric oncology department was then established at the Faculty Hospital in Motol, Prague in 1978.