Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas R. Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard A. Jarrell, Jordan D. MarchéII, JoAnn Palmeri, Daniel W. E. Green

Shain, Grigory Abramovich

  • Alexander A. Gurshtein
Reference work entry

Alternate Names

 Shajn, Grigory Abramovich;  Shayn, Grigory Abramovich

BornOdessa, (Ukraine), 13 April 1892

DiedMoscow, (Russia), 27 August 1956

Astrophysicist and observatory director Grigory Shain helped to rebuild the infrastructure of Soviet astronomy in the wake of the Bolshevik Revolution and provided early evidence for nonsolar abundances in carbon stars and for a galactic magnetic field.

Shain was born into a poor joiner’s family; much of his broad erudition was due to his perseverance and determination to educate himself. In 1912, he enrolled in the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics at Yurev (Dorpat) University, but his education was not completed until 1919 at Perm (following his service in World War I). Shain earned a magister’s degree from the provincial Tomsk University (1920) and, in the following year, joined the staff of Pulkovo Observatory. He married astronomer Pelageya Fyodorovna Sannikova.

In 1925, Shain and his wife were dispatched to Pulkovo’s astrophysics branch...

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Selected References

  1. Kulikovsky, P. G. (1975). “Shayn, Grigory Abramovich.” In Dictionary of Scientific Biography, edited by Charles Coulston Gillispie. Vol. 12, pp. 367–369. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.Google Scholar
  2. Pikelner, S. B. (1957). “G. A. Shain (1892–1956).” Istoriko-astronomicheskie issledovaniia 3: 551–607.Google Scholar
  3. Shklovskii, I. S. (1991). Five Billion Vodka Bottles to the Moon: Tales of a Soviet Scientist. New York: W. W. Norton, esp. pp. 148–156.Google Scholar
  4. Struve, Otto (1958). “G. A. Shajn and Russian Astronomy.” Sky & Telescope 17, no. 6: 272–274.ADSGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Vavilov Institute for History of Science & Technology, Russian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia