Klim Churyumov: the Ukrainian astronomer lucky, whose discoveries could save the world

Клим Чурюмов: украинский астроном-счастливчик, открытия которого могут спасти мир

On 19 February in Kyiv on the wall of the capital’s planetarium has installed a plaque in honor of Klim Churyumov, the world – famous Ukrainian astronomer, teacher and writer. The date of the ceremony, the organizers have chosen is birthday Churyumov, today he would have turned 82 years old.

A step into history

In 1969, Churyumov led the expedition that opened the comet, which for several decades “picometers” research unit and gave a lot of valuable to mankind the information about the origin about 5 billion years ago Solar system. He became famous all over the world and praised Ukraine.

All interviews Klim Churyumov – on the positive, on all the photos is smiling. In his youth, more like an actor than a serious scientist who will eventually gain worldwide fame. And I want to say: the darling of destiny, the lucky one. But now thanks to him and “the Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko” can bus to all mankind, which is so persistently seeks to answer the question of how to save the world.

Клим Чурюмов: украинский астроном-счастливчик, открытия которого могут спасти мир

A plaque in honor of Klim Churyumov

Talented people – talented in everything

For a start, he was very lucky with the family in which he was born.

My mother gave birth to eight children – five sons and three daughters. She was a very beautiful woman, wrote poetry, was well shot. Even pregnant my brother Simon went on shooting. There she felt contractions, she was taken to the hospital, she gave birth to a son, and soon returned to the position. Voroshilov gave her inscribed gold watch – says the scientist in an interview with Uriadovyi courier. – As a mother she was awarded the medal of Honor.

And for several decades the American astronomer and friend Churyumov Eleanor Helin in honor of the 90th anniversary of his mother Antonia called the asteroid No. 6646, giving him the name Courant.

By the way, journalists often asked the scientist, not in honor do the Voroshilov its called climate control. It turns out, no. The fact that the mother was reading a novel by Gorky, “the Life of Klim Samgin”, very popular at the time, and so I decided to give the same name to his son. While Klim Churyumov and Clim – full namesake, the patronymic Ivanovich.

Ivan Churyumov was a career officer in the Soviet army during the Second world war he performed the duties of Commissioner of the battalion. As told son, he was killed in battle near the village Merry in may 1942, the infamous Kharkiv boiler, where they destroyed and captured a huge number of Soviet soldiers and officers.

Клим Чурюмов: украинский астроном-счастливчик, открытия которого могут спасти мир

The opening ceremony took place on the day of the birth of Ukrainian astronomer

“Father wanted to be a writer, even chose the pseudonym Ivan Sea. He was attracted to writing, but in 35 years was killed,” – said the scientist in interview to the Ukrainian truth.

By the way, great-grandfathers Klim Churyumov on the mother, too, was military – the Cossacks of the don Cossacks, descendants of the Zaporozhye Cossacks, both participated in the legendary battle. The names of the captain and the centurion of Alexander’s as the heroes of the war with Napoleon in 1812 are engraved on the walls of the rebuilt Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow.

Apparently, from parents to Klim Ivanovich got talent, because over time, from his pen will be a number of works for children – very cute and sincere. Here, for example.

But astronomer Klim probably was due to one of the brothers.

My older brother read a lot, including, and scientific literature. Told me small, about the stars. He heard, for instance, that Sirius is a star, a white dwarf, a pea from a substance which weighs several tons! The elder brother, the education philosopher, was my first teacher. We had a political map of the world, and the brother showed her all the countries, cities, Islands. I’m still unable to list them. On this map, and learned to read at four years of age. Of course, at that age I was interested in the tales and life of animals for Brehm,
‘recalled a scientist in conversation with journalists Uredovora courier.

By the way, the asteroid 3942 Corianne named in honor of the two Ivanov – father and brother, Klim Churyumov.

Generally, Klim Ivanovich, probably, not again thanked fate for what was left alive at the beginning of the war. Due to circumstances, he then four-year old boy sat with his mother in a train, which took out people from the fire by the Nazis of Kiev. But that train died…

Though fate and threw the family climate in the world – the trip of the father-the military, the evacuations, but still brought back to Ukraine, in Nikolayev, and later moved to Kiev, where he studied at the Kiev national University of Taras Shevchenko. Here he was lucky again.

To catch a comet by the tail

I first entered the physical faculty. I wanted to do theoretical physics, but during the distribution there were few places, and I was asked to go to the Department of astronomy. It turned out that this is an extremely interesting. And in graduate school I was offered to study comets
– says the scientist.

His colleague Svetlana Gerasimenko, whose name appears second in the name of the famous comet, in one of his speeches said that in the University of Kiev was very weak Supervisory framework, therefore, young scientists were in Almaty, where the database was powerful enough. In that expedition in the fall of 1969, they watched the heavenly bodies and the most interesting of them recorded on sensitive photographic plates is “Kodak”. Svetlana Gerasimenko recalled that one night was not enough reagents for developing plates, and some of them appeared not to end. They even wanted to throw away. But it is not thrown away. Again good luck?! In Kiev, a month or more afterwards, the researchers again showed the images to make a trip report, and only then did they realize that one of the images – not a marriage of film and not already known comets, and quite another celestial body. It was a new comet!

We had 5 negatives, that is, 5 confirmations of the opening. Your details we have sent to America and Leningrad, in the Institute of theoretical astronomy. It’s nice that from the US came over the wire. I even calculated the orbit and from all the observatories found”, – shared memories a scientist.

It was incredible!

Svetlana Gerasimenko today, not without a smile recalls that young scientists for the discovery was given as many as 30 rubles prize. However, he says they are not upset.

Клим Чурюмов: украинский астроном-счастливчик, открытия которого могут спасти мир

Klim Churyumov and Svetlana Gerasimenko

Ukrainian comet participates in a unique international experiment

In 2004, 35 years after the discovery of the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, occurred an event which again made a lot of scientists worried.

March 2, Klim Churyumov and Svetlana Gerasimenko was present at the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana at the launch of the European interplanetary probe Rosetta, which went to “the Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko”.

Their comet was included in a unique project – the Rosetta spacecraft was supposed to send to the surface of the comet module “FILA” for research. It was the first time in history! Rosetta flew by the nucleus of a comet for 10 years! In November 2014, have achieved the desired. Module successfully “picometers”! How to describe media, for this historic moment and a huge step towards solving the mystery of the origin of the Solar system live was watched by hundreds of thousands of people.

Klim Ivanovich recalled:

This is a great event for all humanity, it can be compared to landing a man on the moon and landing a probe on Saturn’s moon Titan.

By the way, the scientist himself did not hide – it’s great luck that I chose them for the comet experiment, although it was comfortable enough.

“She crataerina every 6.5 years is approaching the Earth, that is, very often we see it. And this is very important for getting accurate probe”, – explained the scientist.

As said Klim Churyumov, this experiment was supposed to provide the latest information about comecom matter, magnetic and electric fields, elemental and chemical compositions. Expected data for complex organics.

“Finally have an idea of how to plant a rocket, say, the threat of the cores of comets or asteroids that threaten Earth. For example, on a dangerous asteroid that threatens the Earth, it is possible to send a rocket with nuclear warheads. They produced so much that is enough to destroy our planet and at the same time to use to save her,” – said the scientist.

Svetlana Gerasimenko says that data from the module will last for 20-30 years for scientists from different industries, and this will help mankind to get answers to many important questions.

Why is it so important to study comets?

In an interview with Uriadovyi courier scientist said:

“A comet is like a time capsule. It carries information from distant times, when the Sun was young and the Earth was in its infancy. In the nuclei of comets remains the primary substance from which five billion years ago the Solar system formed. Where on Earth did the water? The earth was hot and not a drop of water here. Was not organic. Mostly water on Earth came from comet nuclei, 60-80% of which is ice. Millions, billions of nuclei of comets and fell to the Ground, and for a Month.

So we see moon craters is a result of the bombing. On the Ground was the same craters, but there is atmosphere, water, so the traces of the erased. Only the Arizona crater has been preserved in original condition – he’s young, he’s only 40 thousand years. When falling cometary nuclei, ice has evaporated and cooled the Earth. And when the Earth cooled, the ice does not evaporate and liquid filled the basin. It is our oceans and seas. How do we know this? In 2010, the spacecraft Deep Impact approached the comet Hartley-2 at a distance of 694 km. When they examined the isotopic composition of water in these comets, he turned out to be exactly like in earth’s oceans. So the origin of water on Earth is comet. They brought her and organics. Now the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko are also complex organic molecules: methanol, formaldehyde, alcohols, and this is organic”.

“I – Ukrainian, and this is a fundamental issue”

In honor of Klim Ivanovych Churyumov was named a minor planet. But on his initiative, long before the flight of Rosetta to open them comet, small planet, which was opened to domestic and American astronomers, called Kobzar, Bricklayer, Knowledge.

“Even then, Ukraine was played in world. The same thing I want to do now. At the core of our comets have craters, mountains, valleys. I propose to give them the names of the Carpathians, Hoverla. And one of the craters to be named after my teacher Professor Sergei all saints. When he turned 100 years, UNESCO has called 2005 a Year of all saints. That is a scientist from Ukraine, is known worldwide. Other objects and comets can be called in honor of the Ukrainian places such as my hometown of Nikolaev”, – the scientist dreamed of.

Клим Чурюмов: украинский астроном-счастливчик, открытия которого могут спасти мир

The Klim Churyumov was a fundamental question about his citizenship

He always said the Ukrainian.

For me it’s a matter of principle. I was born in Nikolaev, Svetlana Gerasimenko in baryshivka in Kyiv region. It is absolutely Ukrainian comet and achievements. I am very sad when people call me Russian or Soviet scientists. During the landing module all foreign mass-media named the comet of the Ukrainian and us, of course, Ukrainian discoverers,
– proud Klim Ivanovich.

And complained about journalists from the Russian channel NTV: “Arrogant, pushy, pushing all. I told them that will answer the questions provided that they not call me in their reports of the Soviet scientists. They swore that fulfill my requirement. And when Russia came out of these stories, I have a dozen times called it a Soviet scientist”.

By the way, in December 2013, during the revolution of Dignity, he wrote the national Anthem of the Ukrainian Euromaidan.

In October 2016, Klim Ivanovich Churyumov did not. He was 79 years old, and death actually caught it at work. Someone will say: and he was lucky!

To live such a busy life, to my last breath to do what you love and to leave behind such a vivid trail is a great happiness. Your experience passed to the three grandsons, who went out of his way and has mastered the natural profession – graduated from the faculty of Cybernetics. In an interview regretted that there is no time to write a memoir, because caring for a sick wife Nina, with which he connected science and more than half a century together. However, he did life itself and all things.

Said that we are all children of the stars, and astronomers – is guardians of the sky, and they are all the time in search of a new, to better understand the harmony of the Universe, to appreciate the beauty of the galaxies, stars, our Sun, comets and asteroids.

Sounds like a Testament for all of us who can still save the Earth.

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