Ad Astra Geoscientist of the Week

Guest Videos: Mikhail Lomonosov

You might run across the word “Lomonosov” in the news soon. A ridge of that name is a big part of Russia’s claim to the Arctic, and the UN committee that is responsible for deciding such territorial claims just began a new session.

This ridge is named after a famous 18th-century Russian polymath–Mikhail Lomonosov–who, among other things, discovered in 1761 that the planet Venus has an atmosphere.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much about him in English online other than Wikipedia and the usual science biography sites on YouTube.

However, Lomonosov is worth checking out today for two reasons.

First, during the 1970s, the Russians followed up spectacularly on that initial Venus discovery.

Second, tomorrow’s Sunday Morning Volcano sits very close to the Lomonosov Ridge.

To be continued . . .

Featured image: The 2012 transit of Venus, NASA/SDO, AIA via Wikimedia, CC BY-SA 2.0/Portrait of M. Lomonosov, Russian Academy of Sciences via Wikimedia.


Lomonosov, M., and Shiltsev, V. 2018. Mikhail Lomonosov. Meditations on Solidity and Fluidity of Bodies (1760). English translation and commentary by V. Shiltsev. arXiv preprint arXiv:1801.00909 (PDF).

Marov, M. Y. 2004. Mikhail Lomonosov and the discovery of the atmosphere of Venus during the 1761 transit. Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union, 2004(IAUC196), 209-219.


About BJ Deming

After getting an associate's degree in forestry, I studied geology as an undergraduate back in the 1980s but went into medical transcription instead. It just worked out better for me. The Internet renewed my interest in geoscience as a hobby, and when I retired in 2014, I decided to write a book about cat evolution. That started a new career for me (enormous fun but not self-supporting yet). Right now, besides blogging I am finishing up the first two books in a self-published ebook series about the cat family and its history. Thanks for your interest!

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