Milos Sidlichovsky

Czech Republic



Czech National Committee for Astronomy regrets to announce that on the 1st of January 2024 passed away Dr. Miloš Šidlichovský, a long-term member of the IAU. Our thanks to Jan Vondrák, who allowed us to post the following obituary on Dr. Miloš Šidlichovský IAU memorial page.

Obituary Miloš Šidlichovský

Early in the morning of the New Year 2024 we lost our good friend and colleague Miloš Šidlichovský. Born May 22, 1947 in Liberec, he passed away, after a long illness, in Prague on January 1, 2024. After graduating with honors in Theoretical Physics from Charles University in Prague in 1970, he started his carrier at Solar Department of the Astronomical Institute of Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. He obtained his PhD in astronomy in 1975, shortly afterwards he moved to the newly formed department Dynamics of Solar System and fully devoted himself to celestial mechanics. Main topics of his research were aimed first at application of spherical functions and their properties in gravitational interaction of non-spherical bodies, later at the dynamics of asteroids. Namely he studied chaos, resonances, structure of the Asteroid and Kuiper belts, stability of orbits, and also multiple exoplanetary systems. He published a lot of papers on these subjects, often with co-authors from abroad. In 1987 he was invited for six months stay as visiting professor to Queen Mary College of London, where he worked with Carl Murray.

In 1988 he defended his second thesis entitled Solution of Contemporary Problems of Rotational-orbital Dynamics of Celestial Bodies, and obtained the title of DSc. He appreciated very much his three-month stay in 1991 as visiting professor at the National Observatory of Japan in Tokyo, where he cooperated with Hiroshi Kinoshita and Haruo Yoshida. His excellent ability to explain even the most complicated problems to others led him to teaching; he was repeatedly engaged as external lecturer of Celestial Mechanics at Charles University in the years 1987-1994, 1999 and 2005-2007. Some of his former students became later well-known internationally (e.g., David Vokrouhlický, David Nesvorný, David Heyrovský). He also served in important positions at the Astronomical Institute – in 1994-1996 as the Deputy Director for foreign contacts, and in 2000-2004 as the Head of the Department of Dynamical Astronomy. He joined the IAU in 1979 as member of its Commission 7 Celestial Mechanics, and between 2000 and 2009 served as a member of its Organizing Committee. There were two important IAU meetings in Prague – X. European Regional Astronomy Meeting in 1987 and XXVI. IAU General Assembly in 2006. Miloš was one of the active organizers of both of them, as the member of their National Organizing Committees.

Unfortunately, his health problems that started in 2005 led him to retirement in 2011. Since then, he concentrated mostly on his family and (as long as his progressing illness allowed) numerous hobbies: classical music (he loved Leoš Janáček), Alpine plants, tennis, GO (that he mastered during his stay in Japan), pétanque, good Spanish and Portugues wines, etc. We all remember him as a good companion, very nice, social and friendly person, always ready to discuss many different topics and offering help when necessary. His beloved wife Lída, whom he married in 1967, as well as his two children and four grandchildren, will miss him badly. So shall we, his friends and former colleagues.

Jan Vondrák

Past affiliation(s) within the IAU

  • Past Organizing Committee Member of Commission 7 Celestial Mechanics & Dynamical Astronomy (2006-2009)
  • Past Organizing Committee Member of Commission 7 Celestial Mechanics & Dynamical Astronomy (2003-2006)
  • Past Organizing Committee Member of Commission 7 Celestial Mechanics & Dynamical Astronomy (2000-2003)
  • Past Member of Division A Fundamental Astronomy (until 2024)
  • Past Member of Commission 7 Celestial Mechanics & Dynamical Astronomy (until 2015)
  • Past Member of Division I Fundamental Astronomy (until 2012)

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