He was born in Čáslav, Czechoslovakia. As a student he developed what was to be a lifelong interest in astronomy. He graduated from the Czech Technical University in 1956, then joined the staff of the astronomical department of the Institute of Geodesy in Prague.
In 1960 he joined the Prague Planetarium, eventually becoming deputy director and then head. He also became chairman of the Planetary Section of the Czechoslovak Astronomical Society and served as vice president of the International Planetarium Directors Conference from 1996 until 1999. He retired at the end of 1999.
During his career he was a popularizer of astronomy and authored many books on the subject. He was skilled in cartography and selenography, the skill of mapping the Moon. He illustrated many of his own books, including the highly regarded Atlas of the Moon.
He was married to Sonja. They had a daughter Jane and son Mike.
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