Zdeněk Kopal

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Sculpture "Binary star" at Kopal's birthplace in Litomyšl. It was made of kevlar fibers by Federico Díaz and Marian Karel.

Zdeněk Kopal (Czech pronunciation: [ˈzdɛɲɛk ˈkopal]; 4 April 1914 – 23 June 1993) was a Czech astronomer who mainly worked in England.

Kopal was born and grew up in Litomyšl (Czechoslovakia, now Czech Republic). In his early astronomical career, he studied variable stars and in particular close eclipsing binary stars. He attended Cambridge University in 1938[1] and later that year he went to Harvard College Observatory. After the war he became head of the astronomy department at the University of Manchester. He later assisted NASA with the Apollo program as an external expert.
He was Editor-in-Chief of the journal Astrophysics and Space Science since its foundation in 1968 until his death in 1993.

The asteroid 2628 Kopal was named in his honour.


  1. ^ Hockey, Thomas (2009). The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers. Springer Publishing. ISBN 978-0-387-31022-0. Retrieved August 22, 2012.

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