Xi Zezong

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This is a Chinese name; the family name is Xi (席).

simplified Chinese: 席泽宗; traditional Chinese: 席澤宗; pinyin: Xí Zézōng

Xi Zezong (June 6, 1927, Yuanqu, Shanxi – December 27, 2008, Beijing) was a Chinese astronomical historian.[1][2] He is best known for his finding in Ancient Chinese history of the reference to Ganymede being visible to the human eye by ancient astronomer Gan De, before it was officially recognised by the west. He is a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and an Awardee of the Astronomy Prize.

Career[edit]

Xi graduated from the Astronomy Department of Zhongshan University in Zhongshan, and began a career in the Chinese Academy of Sciences in which he has spent all of his life as a professor. He has conducted research and supervised students since 1981 at its Institute for History of Natural Science and served as the director of this Institute from 1983 to 1988.[3] His main study has been in the study of historical supernovae, and has defined seven criteria with which to identify novae and 2 criteria to distinguish the novae and supernovae.[3] He has studied ancient novae recorded in Chinese, Korean and Japanese annals and in 1955 rewrote it into a modern day catalogue, analysing their significance to radio astronomy. This was reprinted in 1965 in the United States and is considered an important reference work to astronomical scholars worldwide.[3]

In the 1970s Xi undertook research for the unearthed astronomical materials at Mawangdui, and came across a valuable ancient chart which illustrated 29 types of comets.[3] Xi was elected member the International Academy of History of Science in 1993, and of International Eurasian Academy of Sciences in 1995.

In 1996 he began studying celestial phenomenon records in an effort to accurately pinpoint dates for historical events, publishing a chronological table in November 2000.[3] In 1997, a main-belt asteroid was named after him.

Xu is now president of Chinese Society of History of Science and Technology,and is an academic advisor to the Research Center of Ancient Civilization, and is affiliated with many of China's top universities as a professor.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "In Memoriam: Xi Zezong". Newsletter of the History of Science Society. April 2009. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Science historian XI Zezong, 81, passes away". Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Awardee of Astronomy Prize Xi Zezong". The Holeung Ho Lee Foundation. Retrieved October 23, 2008. 

External links[edit]