News Science, 22/06/2018

Kharkiv Hosts and Entertains Prominent Astronomers from 17 Countries

The international astronomy conference is taking place in Karazin Kharkiv National University on June 18-22.

Its main purpose is to celebrate the 210th anniversary of astronomy science in Kharkiv, the 100th anniversary since regular observations of the Moon started, and the 40th anniversary of asteroid study in Kharkiv Astronomical Observatory.

For the first time, such a large-scale astronomy event gathered together in Kharkiv 40 science luminaries from 17 world countries. Among them there was professor Carle Pieters of Brown University, USA, founder of the NASA Reflectance Experiment Laboratory, Dr. Antonella Barucci from Paris Observatory, France, who was actively involved in the organization and implementation of the Rosetta Space Mission, professor Daniel Scheeres of the University of Colorado, USA, known for his pioneering work on the evolution of the orbital motion of minor bodies and Dr. Fumi Yoshida from the Planetary Exploration Research Center at the Chiba Institute of Technology, Japan.

Within five days, outstanding experts in various remote techniques and modeling have disseminated new ideas and the latest results regarding research of minor Solar system bodies and planetary satellites.

Professor of Karazin University and head of the organizing committee Iryna Belska states that most of the scientists visited Ukraine for the first time and flew directly to Kharkiv, which was convenient for them. Many agreed to take part in the conference because they highly value their Kharkiv colleagues’ work and experience. Some were impressed at the high level of education of students and wanted to meet Karazin University lecturers teachers. Scientists from China and Korea were mostly interested in Kharkiv experts’ work.

“Our Italian participants noted that many leading universities cannot boast with such premises and halls that Kharkiv University has,” Iryna Belska notes. The astronomy professor states the guests enjoyed Kharkiv architecture, sights and squares.

“Not only did we want to exchange our ideas and experience. We also planned to present Kharkiv to world-famous astronomers, and our city impressed our guests indeed!” says the professor. The guided tour to Zmiiv district with ethnic Ukrainian songs and dances and “Don Quixote” ballet in the Kharkiv National Opera and Ballet Theatre amazed prominent world scientists.

“It was an unforgettable moment when renowned professors started dancing with Ukrainian ethnic performers,” Iryna Belska recalls smiling.

Today is the final day of the international astronomy conference. The participants are discussing the prospects of further cooperation and research. Hopefully, Kharkiv June 2018 astronomers’ gathering will echo with future discoveries and developments in space research.

Text: Olena Sokolynska

Photo: Institute of Astronomy, Kharkiv Karazin National University, Objectiv