Recently, the International Astronomical Union named one of the Pluto’s craters after Roland Kiladze, an outstanding Georgian astronomer.
„Kiladze crater honors Rolan Kiladze (1931–2010), the Georgian (Caucasus) astronomer who made pioneering early investigations of the dynamics, astrometry, and photometry of Pluto.“, according to the statement at the IAU website (www.iau.org/news/announcements/detail/ann19052/).
Rolan Kiladze was a Doctor of Physics and Mathematics, a researcher at the Abastumani Astrophysical Observatory (1955-2010), a member of the Georgian National Academy of Sciences, associate professor of Iv. Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, professor at the Tbilisi Pedagogical Institute and Ilia State University, director of the Abastumani Astrophysical Observatory (2001-2005). He is an author of more than 140 scientific articles. Roland Kiladze published monographs “Modern Rotation of Planets, as a Result of Development of Small Particles” (1986) and “Theory of Movement of Geostationary Satellites” (2008), as well as three catalogs of geostationary satellites. He is the author of the textbook “Theoretical Astrophysics”. The field of his scientific research is quite extensive: solar system bodies, geostationary satellites, stellar astronomy.
Roland Kiladze actively studied Pluto, along with other celestial bodies. In 1977, he suggested that the planet Pluto was in a state of formation, due to a large cluster of particles around it. He also calculated that Pluto’s mass was very small, which was confirmed later. In 2006, Pluto was transferred to the category of minor planets.
Roland Kiladze predicted the existence of Pluto’s satellite Charon a year before its discovery. He also suggested the existence of a large cluster of small bodies beyond the orbit of Pluto, which was also confirmed by the infrared satellite sent into space in 1992. According to R. Kiladze, these particles should be half a millimeter in size. Measurements of protoplanetary clouds around other stars confirmed this suggestion.
Rolan Kiladze also suggested that there should be a small cloud of particles around Pluto filled with particles from a cloud beyond its orbit and gradually falling to the surface of Pluto. Discovery of Pluto’s satellites is believed to confirm this assumption. Discovery of Pluto’s five satellites can also be considered as a confirmation of Rolan Kiladze’s theory of planetary rotation (“Modern Rotation of Planets, as a Result of Development of Small Particles”).
Rolan Kiladze was the first who measured the thickness of the Saturn’s rings (1967) which was confirmed by French scientists (1981) and the Hubble space telescope observations (1995).
Rolan Kiladze observed the signs of Mercury’s atmosphere during its transit through the solar disk (1974). In 1975 he discovered a nova in Cygni constellation (Nova Cygni).
R.Kiladze and his colleagues from St.-Petersburg developed the theory of movement of geostationary satellites (2001). The computer software based on this theory makes it possible to determine the coordinates for currently existing geostationary satellites and improve the elements of their orbits. He found that malfunctioning artificial satellites were gathering in a specific location (2003) that makes it possible to find these space debris and remove them.
Kiladze also found a criterion for predicting a collision of an asteroid with the Earth based on only two positional observations (2004).
Along with many other awards, Roland Kiladze was awarded the USSR State Prize (1971), the Honorary Prize of Georgia (2001). The name “Kiladze” was assigned to the minor Planet 4737 (1996).