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* 4. 8. 1901, Horní Nová Ves near Lázně Bělohrad, Czech Republic
† 20. 9. 1979, Příbram, Czech Republic

astronomer, geodesist

After the matura examinations at the state secondary modern school in Nova Paka, B. studied astronomy from 1921 to 1926 at the Faculty of Natural Sciences of Charles University. He received a doctorate in natural sciences in 1927 with the dissertation L´orbite de la planète 1055. Already during his study, B. worked as an assistant at the Astronomical Institute of Charles University, and later, until 1929, at the Astrographic and Meridian Department of the Algerian Astronomical Observatory in Bouzareah.
After returning to Prague, B. worked for the next seventeen years in the astronomical section of the Military Geographical Institute, and later at the Land Survey Office in Prague. After habilitating with the topic Lotabweichungen und das Geoid in der Tschechoslowakei, he accepted the post of professor of astronomy and foundations of geophysics at the Technical University in Prague in 1946. In 1948, he became the dean of the Faculty of Geodesy, and for a few years also the chairman of the Institute for Higher Geodesy, Astronomy, and Foundations of Geophysics. From the establishment of the astronomical observatory at the Technical University onwards, he presided over it and equipped the Czechoslovak International Station in such a way that it was able to determine the movements of the poles and the variations in Earth's rotation. For this reason, B. developed an astrometric device of great precision.
The focus of B.'s work was celestial mechanics, astrometry, and geodetic astronomy. He measured the positions of numerous smaller planets and comets, observed an entire range of Lunar and Solar eclipses and concealments, and determined the brightness of comets. He led astronomical measurements of geographical positions and calculations of azimuths of numerous trigonometric points of the Czechoslovak geodetic network with different methods, which he constantly developed. He developed an auxiliary device for the measurement of errors in the circumzenithal, which was for many years used effectively in the composition of the astronomical geodetic network of national territory. Later, he constructed a prismatic recording micrometer, which eliminated the possibility of human error already during observation. The circumzenithal type, which he had developed, was preserved for measurements during the International Geophysical Year.
B.'s contributions to the development of celestial mechanics during the construction of the first Sputnik I and II satellites are remarkable. He was the first to become aware of the deduction of the flatness of the Earth's poles from the movement of the lines of knots and the apsidal point of artificial satellites. B. thus became one of the more prominent members of the scientific community that dealt with satellites and astrodynamics. He was a member of the International Commission of Cosmic Research in Paris, the International Academy of Astrology, and the International Commission for the Scientific Use of Artificial Satellites in Geodesy, president of the 6th General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union, and a member of the editorial board of the international newspaper Ikarus. B. is also the author of over sixty scientific works. The Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, established in 1952, named him its corresponding member.

24. 05. 2011 - Opening of CESA in Košice

On 25th May, 2011 we will open the Central European Science Adventure in Slovak Technical Museum in Košice. The game will be accessible for school groups till 30th June. For more info ...

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20. 04. 2011 - Opening of CESA in Budapest

On 4th May, 2011 we will open the Central European Science Adventure in Magyar Műszaki és Közlekedési Múzeum in Budapest. The game will be accessible for school groups ...

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