MILUTIN MILANKOVIC (1879 - 1958)

120 years since he was born and 90 years since he entered the Belgrade University


The year 1999 is important for its double jubilee regarding our great scientist Milutin Milankovic. Let us remind ourselves of those two dates: on May the 28th, 1879, exactly 120 years ago, in the village of Dalj, Milutin was born to Jelisaveta, nee Muacevic, and Milan Milankovic as the eldest child in the family, and on October the 3rd, 1909, 90 years ago, Milankovic left Vienna and started his career as a professor at the Belgrade university. Milankovic was by profession a civil engineer, an astronomer, a mathematician, a geo-physicist, and, above all, the founder of modern climatology and climate modelling.
M. Milankovic
 Milutin Milankovic     
Exploring the influence of astronomical factors on climate changes in the Earth's geological past, Milankovic explained the periodical forming, developing and disappearing of the glacial phases during the past 600,000 years. Applying mathematical models and using the findings previously discovered by Ademar, Kroll, and others, with great help and encouragement from his colleague, the astronomer Vojislav Miskovic, Milankovic proved that the precession, change of the incline of the axis of rotation, and the Earth's eccentric path round the Sun have been dominant long-period factors influencing climate changes during the geological past. However, that is not the only thing Milankovic is famous for. His masterpiece "The cannon of the amount of sunlight on the Earth and its application on the problem of ice-ages" is the most significant work of the Serbian science in the 20th century. His evaluation of the amount of sunlight and the annual average temperature on the surface of Mars and its lower layers of atmosphere has been proved by recent cosmic research. Milankovic also made the most precise calendar so far. The calendar would be absolutely precise until the year 2800. Although his calendar needed no correction in the next 28,800 years, it has never been accepted worldwide.
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