John S. Paraskevopoulos

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John S. Paraskevopoulos (circa 1940) John S. Paraskevopoulos.jpg
John S. Paraskevopoulos (circa 1940)

John Stefanos Paraskevopoulos (June 20, 1889 March 15, 1951) also known as John Paras, was a Greek/South African astronomer. He was born in Piraeus, Greece and graduated from the University of Athens, where he obtained his PhD in Physics in 1910, under the supervision of Timoleon A. Argyropoulos. He served in the Greek army during the Balkan Wars and World War I. He work as an assistant of Prof. Demetrios Eginitis at the National Observatory of Athens, and in 1919, he went to the US with a two-year fellowship, spending part of that time working at Yerkes Observatory. There he met and married Dorothy W. Block. In 1921, he returned to Athens where he became head of the astronomy department of the National Observatory of Athens with a goal to built a large telescope in Greece. However, due to the war between Greece and Turkey during that period and the political instability that followed it soon became evident that the large telescope for the observatory would not materialise. So, in September 1923 Dr Paras accepted an offer from Dr Harlow Shapley, to become the Superintendent of the Harvard Observatory's Southern Station. He left this post due to a lack of funding and went to Arequipa, Peru to work at Boyden Station, a branch of Harvard Observatory, with a view to finding a more suitable location for it. The decision was made to move Boyden Station to South Africa due to better weather conditions, and Paraskevopoulos served there as director of Boyden Observatory in South Africa from 1927 to 1951. He co-discovered a couple of comets. The crater Paraskevopoulos on the Moon is named after him.

Astronomer scientist who studies celestial bodies

An astronomer is a scientist in the field of astronomy who focuses their studies on a specific question or field outside the scope of Earth. They observe astronomical objects such as stars, planets, moons, comets, and galaxies – in either observational or theoretical astronomy. Examples of topics or fields astronomers study include planetary science, solar astronomy, the origin or evolution of stars, or the formation of galaxies. Related but distinct subjects like physical cosmology, which studies the Universe as a whole.

Piraeus Place in Greece

Piraeus is a port city in the region of Attica, Greece. Piraeus is located within the Athens urban area, 12 kilometres southwest from its city centre, and lies along the east coast of the Saronic Gulf.

Greece republic in Southeast Europe

Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, self-identified and historically known as Hellas, is a country located in Southern and Southeast Europe, with a population of approximately 11 million as of 2016. Athens is the nation's capital and largest city, followed by Thessaloniki.


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