Tõnu Viik was awarded the University of Tartu Medal
On Thursday, December 12, astronomer Tõnu Viik celebrated his 80th birthday. At his birthday event in Tõravere, Viik was awarded the University of Tartu Medal for his successful long-term work at Tartu Observatory.
Viik has worked at the observatory for 56 years. Currently, he works as a counsellor at the observatory. The main focus of his research has been the theoretical questions of radiation transfer in the atmospheres of stars and planets. His work of teaching young physicists and astronomers at the University of Tartu can be considered invaluable.
Besides research and teaching, Viik has contributed greatly into organizing Estonian research. Viik was the director of Tartu Observatory during the difficult transition period from 1985 to 1999, when a Soviet institute had to be formed into a modern research institution. He was an active member of the Scientific Competence Council and the Estonian Science Foundation Council as well as represented Estonian astronomers in the International Astronomical Union. From 2008 to 2014, Viik was the president of Estonian Naturalists' Society, and starting from 2015, its honorary member.
Due to his extreme correctness and grasp of language Viik has been entrusted with composing and editing many books. In 1991, he started publishing the Annual Report of Tartu Observatory. From 2014, Viik has been editing the calendar of the Old Observatory. Viik was also the scientific consultant of the history book "Tartu Tähetorn – Tartu Old Observatory" published for the 200th anniversary of the University of Tartu Old Observatory in 2011, as well as the composer of another history book, "Tartu Observatory in Tõravere" published in 2014.
After the medal ceremony on Thursday, Viik talked about his life in research and elsewhere at the astronomy seminar. See the pictures of the event below.