Ukrainian astronomer and famous comet researcher Klim Churyumov dies at 79

Ukrainian astronomer and famous comet researcher Klim Churyumov dies at 79
By Joanna Gill
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Along with Svetlana Gerasimenko, Churyumov discovered comet 67P, which the Rosetta mission successfully landed its philae lander on in 2014.


The world of astronomy has lost one of its stars.

Soviet-Ukrainian astronomer Klim Churyumov has died aged 79. According to Ukrainian media, he had been travelling to Kharkiv when he died unexpectedly.

He is the man who discovered comet 67P -Churyumov-Gerasimenko with astronomer Svetlana Gerasimenko in 1969.

#Rosetta. Klim Churyumov y Svetlana Guerasimenko, científicos soviéticos que descubrieron en 1969 el cometa 67P Churyumov-Guerasimenko

— Paco Arnau (@ciudadfutura) September 30, 2016

It was the comet which would later be the subject of the Rosetta space mission.

He followed the mission from its launch in 2004 to the moment the philae lander successfully touched down the comet’s surface after a 10-year 4-billion mile chase.

The end of the mission came just two weeks ago, when the Rosetta probe crash landed into the comet.

The data collected during the mission could shed light on the evolution of the solar system, and how life began on Earth.

He had been one of the contenders for a collective Nobel prize this year.

Space agencies and space enthusiasts paid tribute to him on Twitter.

We are saddened to learn of the death of Klim Churyumov, who discovered #Rosetta’s comet #67P with Svetlana Gerasimenko

— ESA (@esa) October 15, 2016

IamComet67P</a> RIP prof. <a href="">#Churyumov</a>. Your name will stay in the memory of <a href="">#Space</a> <a href="">#Rosetta</a> fans. It was a honour to get an interview with you <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; stroclaudio (@RosmiNow) October 15, 2016

Here's to Klim Churyumov who with out you we wouldn't have a awsum journey to Rosetta

— richie, i am 48% (@bradleyvongrimm) October 15, 2016

Both, Klim Churyumov and Rossetta, sleep for the eternity.

— Bosly, John Bosly (@Roquerol) October 15, 2016

Born in Nikolaev, Ukraine 1937, he went to study physics at Kyiv University. Not getting onto the course he wanted, he ended up by accident be moving to the faculty of astronomy. He began studying comets under Professor Sergej K. Vsekhsvyatski, a renowned comet researcher. He went on to research new comets alongside Svetlana Gerisamenko making the discovery of comet 67P in 1969.

Later in his life he became Director of the Kyiv planetarium. He has authored around 1,000 scientific papers as well as several popular text books. He also authored children’s prose, publishing several volumes between 1999 and 2002.

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