MAY 3, 1974 – NOVEMBER 23, 2016
On November 23rd, 2016, Dr. Mikhail Revnivtsev from the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, passed away at the age of 42 in Moscow after a serious illness.
Mikhail (Mike) Revnivtsev was born in 1974 in Tolyatti, Russia. In 1997, he graduated from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. In 1999 and 2006, he received his PhD and habilitation degree from the Space Research Insitute (IKI) in Moscow. In 2008, he was awarded the very prestigious prize for outstanding young scientists by the Russian President. In 2016, he became Professor of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Mikhail worked at IKI throughout his career. From 2001 to 2010 he also worked in Garching (Germany) at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics and Munich Technical University.
Mikhail was one of the leaders of the INTEGRAL scientific community. Besides being highly successful when working with the observatory’s data, he also served as a member of the INTEGRAL Time Allocation Committee and the INTEGRAL Users’ Group. His ideas were pivotal in forming INTEGRAL’s observational strategy and building its legacy.
Mikhail was known world-wide as an outstanding X-ray astronomer, who greatly contributed to the success of a number of X-ray astronomy missions, including Granat, RXTE, Chandra and INTEGRAL. Mikhail has solved the long-standing puzzle of the origin of the Galactic Ridge X-ray Emission, by demonstrating that it is collective emission of thousands of accreting white dwarfs and millions of coronally active stars. He has also developed a new method of distinguishing neutron stars from black holes in X-ray binaries through a combination of their spectral and timing properties. These are just two of the many outstanding results obtained by Mike.
A prominent result by Mikhail connected with the INTEGRAL observatory is his report on the association of IGR J17475-2822, discovered by INTEGRAL, with the giant molecular cloud Sgr B2 in the Galactic Center region (see INTEGRAL POM October 2004). Data from different observatories strongly support the idea that the hard X-ray emission of Sgr B2 is Compton scattered and reprocessed radiation emitted in the past by the Sgr A* source, the supermassive black-hole candidate in the center of our Galaxy.
The IBIS/ISGRI image (top, left; 18-60 keV) shows the inner 3.5 degree by 2.5 degree region of the center of the Galaxy. Contours represent signal-to-noise levels starting at S/N = 5 and increasing with a factor 1.4. The image has a total effective exposure time of 2.3 Ms. The left, bottom image is the same IBIS/ISGRI image, however, now with the brightness distribution of the 6.4 keV iron line as determined by ASCA/GIS, overplotted as contours.
At the photo on the right, Mikhail is in the Space museum at IKI near a model of the KVANT module. For many of us in the INTEGRAL community, Mike was not only a colleague but also a close friend. We deeply regret his loss. Our hearts are with Mike’s family and colleagues in Moscow. Fond memories of Mikhail Revnivtsev will remain forever with us.
- Eugene Churazov, Roman Krivonos, Alexander Lutovinov, Ilya Mereminsky, Sergei Sazonov, Rashid Sunyaev (IKI, Moscow, Russian Federation)
- «Hard X-ray view of the past activity of Sgr A* in a natural Compton mirror», M.G. Revnivtsev, E.M. Churazov, S.Yu. Sazonov, R.A. Sunyaev, A.A. Lutovinov, M.R. Gilfanov, A.A. Vikhlinin, P.E. Shtykovsky, M.N. Pavlinsky, 2004, A&A 425, L49