Shklovsky, Iosif Samuilovich

Shklovsky, Iosif Samuilovich yôsˈĭf səmo͞oēlˈəvĭch shklŏfˈskē [key], 1916–85, Soviet astronomer. He was head of the department of radio-astronomy at the Sternberg Astronomical Institute, Moscow, and professor of astronomy at Moscow State Univ. He showed, in 1946, that the radio wave radiations from the sun emanate from the ionized layers of its corona, and he developed a mathematical method for discriminating between thermal and nonthermal radio waves in the Milky Way. He is noted especially for his suggestion that the radiation from the Crab Nebula is due to synchrotron radiation, in which unusually energetic electrons twist through magnetic fields at speeds close to that of light. Shklovsky proposed that cosmic rays from supernova explosions within 300 light years of the sun have been responsible for some of the mass extinctions of life on earth. His works include Physics of the Solar Corona (1966), Intelligent Life in the Universe (with Carl Sagan, 1968), and Supernovae (1969).

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