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Czech & Slovak comet discoverers

Antonín Mrkos

lovec komét Antonín Mrkos

Antonín Mrkos, (1918-1996), Czech astronomer studied comets and minor planets. During his work at observatories Skalnate Pleso and Lomnitz Peak, Slovakia, he visually found 11 new comets.

Primary profession od Antonín Mrkos was teacher and although most of his career he devoted to astronomy, after became a director of Klet Observatory he returned also to his previous profession. He lectured astronomy at universities in Prague and Ceske Budejovice.

He "discovered" astronomy during his studies near Prague. From here he often visited the Observatory at Petrin, in Prague. There he learned how to grind glass for telescopes. He taught for several years, since 1946 he devoted his life to astronomy, when he started to work at Skalnate Pleso Observatory. Besides his daily astronomical duties he finished his astronomy studies at University in Bratislava. More than 10 years (1950-1961) he worked at Lomnicky Stit Observatory. He took part on two Soviet Polar expeditions in Antartic in years 1957-59 and 1961-1963, where he studied mainly auroras.

Antonín Mrkos
Mrkos became a director of Klet Observatory, near Ceske Budějovice in 1965 after he was fired from Skalanate Pleso. He made for Klet Observatory a big Maksutov camera for tracking comets and minor planets. He discovered more than 270 asteroids and he added to his comets discoveries from Skalnate Pleso period another two comets from Klet.

Asteroid 1969 PC discovered by L. Chernych from Crimea on 1969 Aug. 11 was named in his honour (1832) Mrkos.

Citation published in Minor Planet Circular:

Named in honor of Antonín Mrkos (1918-1996), Director of Kleť Observatory in Czechoslovakia, well known for his contribution to cometary astronomy. He was the founder and for many years head of Kleť Observatory who initiated the Kleť minor planet survey, the first one in Czechoslovakia.

A. Mrkos with Slovak amateurs from TRIFID astronomy association at Klet Observatory
Antonín Mrkos with visitors from Slovakia
Foto: TRIFID-Bödők

List of comets discovered by Antonín Mrkos

Date of discovery
at discovery
C/1947 Y1
1947 Dec 20
9.5 magn
1948 a
C/1948 E1
1948 Mar 13
10 magn
1948 d
45 P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková
1948 Dec 7
9 magn
1948 n
C/1952 H1
1952 Apr 27
10 magn
1952 c
C/1952 W1
1952 Nov 28
10 magn
1952 f
C/1953 G1
1953 Apr 12
9 magn
1953 a
C/1955 L1
1955 Jun 12
3,5 magn
1955 e
18 D/Perinne-Mrkos
1955 Oct 19
9 magn
1955 i
C/1956 E1
1956 Mar 12
9 magn
1956 b
C/1957 P1
1957 Jul 29
3 magn
1957 d
C/1959 X1
1959 Dec 3
8 magn
1959 j
1984 May 2
16 magn
1984 n
1984 May 2
16 magn
1984 n
124 P/Mrkos
1991 Mar 16
16 magn
1991 k

References: magazines Říše hvězd, Kozmos