A r A S   N e w s






No. 3-4   (December 28, 2002)



Editor: T.Yu.Magakian, tigmag@sci.am



The ArAS Newsletter in the INTERNET:   http://www.aras.am







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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!






            1) The ArAS First Annual Meeting;

            2) Jubilees of ArAS members;

            3) Participation of Armenian astronomers in JENAM-2002;

            4) Contact Information for ArAS.







25 July 2002, Byurakan, Armenia



The First Annual Meeting of the Armenian Astronomical Society was held on July 25, 2002, in the Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory Conference Hall, where a number of outstanding meetings had been organized, including 4 IAU Symposia and 1 IAU Colloquium in 2001. Mainly Byurakan Observatory astronomers participated in the meeting.


The meeting was opened by Haik Harutyunian, Chairman of the Organizing Committee. Then Areg Mickaelian, the ArAS President, presented a report on ArAS activities during 2001-2002.


ArAS was in fact founded in 1999, however, officially it was registered by the Ministry of Justice of Armenia in August 2001. 16 astronomers are the founding members. In September, 2001, ArAS was accepted in the European Astronomical Society as one of its affiliated societies. During September-December 2001, a number of new members appeared in ArAS, mostly from the Byurakan Observatory. Then A.Mickaelian and Y.Terzian made an announcement to all Armenian astronomers about ArAS, and a number of scientists from other than Armenia countries entered ArAS too. An article on the Armenian astronomy and ArAS activities was published in the EAS Newsletter at the end of 2001. Another information material on ArAS appeared in one of the most readable Armenian newsletters in May 2002.


The ArAS web page was prepared by S.Balayan and A.Mickaelian and is available since January 2002. It contains information on the ArAS foundation, its main goals and activities, members, the membership form, Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory and other astronomical institutions in Armenia. In February, 2002, an ArAS booklet was prepared and published with the main information to be circulated. Since March 2002, the ArAS Newsletter (ArASNews) is being published electronically and circulated among all ArAS members and other Armenian astronomers. The Editor is Tigran Magakian. 2 issues have been circulated already in March and July. Contacts have been established with the International Astronomical Union (IAU), Euro-Asian Astronomical Society (EAAS), Association of Armenian Scientists and Engineers in America. In May 2002, ArAS was recognized by the International Astronomical Olympic Committee (IOC) as the official representative of Armenia at IOC. Armen Oskanian is the ArAS responsible person at IOC. In June 2002, two Armenian astronomers were elected in the EAAS official bodies: A.Mickaelian entered the EAAS Council, and T.Magakian, the EAAS Scientific-Technical Committee.


At present, ArAS has 46 members from Armenia, USA, Germany and Spain. The Armenian institutions include the Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (BAO), Yerevan State University (YSU), Yerevan Physics Institute (YerPhI), and Garni Space Astronomy Institute. A biographical dictionary "Armenian Astronomers" is being prepared by A.Mickaelian with data on all late and present Armenian astronomers, as well as on astronomers who had represented and represent the Armenian astronomy. A global program for astronomical education in Armenia is being prepared to coordinate the astronomical knowledge at all levels by H.Harutyunian, the liaison of the IAU Commission No. 46 in Armenia. An astronomical educational TV program is being prepared too.


The scientific section of the ArAS Meeting lasted 3 hours, and 9 talks were presented on various aspects of astrophysics. At the afternoon, organizational affairs were discussed. A.Mickaelian presented the state of the ArAS' relations with the European Astronomical Society (EAS) and the Euro-Asian Astronomical Society (EAAS). The Executive Council of the EAAS had applied to ArAS to open an official representative body in Armenia. It was decided that ArAS will take the responsibilities of such body. A few changes in the Bye-Laws have been made in correspondence with the new Armenian legislation on Non-Governmental Organizations. There was a suggestion to enlarge the ArAS Executive Committee by electing Yervant Terzian (Cornell University, USA) and Haik Harutyunian (BAO, Armenia) in it. During the discussion, a suggestion was made to elect them both as ArAS Co-Presidents and have 3 Co-Presidents together with A.Mickaelian. A decision was made, however we need to have opinions of other ArAS members too to accept it finally.


A small banquet was organized at the end of the Meeting.


The ArAS First Annual Meeting was short and a few contributions were made. However, it was the first attempt, and it had a success. We hope the second one will have much larger participants and audience. Most important we think is the participation of representatives from other institutions and countries as well.









60th Anniversary of Prof. Daniel W. WEEDMAN


Prof. Daniel W. Weedman, a famous astronomer and our great friend, celebrated his 60th anniversary.


Daniel Weedman was born on October 19, 1942 in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. He held faculty appointments at the University of Texas, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Minnesota before joining Penn State in 1979. He received his Bachelor's degree from Vanderbilt University (1964) and PhD from the University of Wisconsin (1967).


D.Weedman was a Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the Pennsylvania State University. While on leave from Penn State, he served two years as Director of the Astrophysics Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington (1993-95).  In that position, he was responsible for overseeing planning, development, and operations for all NASA astrophysics missions, including the Hubble Space Telescope, the Advanced X-Ray Astrophysices Facility (now Chandra X-ray Observatory), and various infrared missions including starts for the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy and SIRTF.  He had also spent two years previously at NASA Headquarters as Visiting Senior Scientist in the Infrared Branch of the Astrophysics Division (1990-92).


Since August 1999 until September, 2002, D.Weedman was at the U.S. National Science Foundation as Program Director for the National Optical Astronomy Observatories and the National Solar Observatory.


Daniel Weedman is currently a Senior Research Associate at Cornell University, working on the Infrared Spectrometer Team in preparation for scientific observations with NASA's Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF), scheduled for launch in spring, 2003.


Highlights of his research career include the first studies of the gas motions in giant hydrogen nebulae (working with Malcolm Smith), the initial spectroscopic observations of Markarian galaxies and resulting development of the orginal classification system for Seyfert galaxies (working with Edward Khachikian), the demonstration of continuity of physical properties between Seyfert galaxies and quasars, and the initial defining of starburst galaxies.


He wrote the book "Quasar Astronomy" (Cambridge University Press 1986),which is a summary of the research techniques and accomplishments in the study of quasars.  He also has extensive experience in the design and use of ground-based and space-based astronomical facilities.


He was the original designer of the Spectroscopic Survey Telescope (working with Lawrence Ramsey), now called the Hobby-Eberly Telescope at the McDonald Observatory in Texas, which is the largest optical telescope in the continental U.S.  He has been participating on the SIRTF spectrometer design team since activities began in 1984.


Prof. Weedman is member of IAU, AAS, and a number of other organizations. He entered ArAS in April this year and is one of its active members. He is a great friend of the Armenian astronomy, having 3 times visited Byurakan and collaborating with Armenian astronomers as well.


On behalf of the Armenian Astronomical Society we wish him good health and success and new scientific achievements.



50th Anniversary of Dr. Vakhtang TAMAZIAN


Dr. Vakhtang Tamazian celebrated in 2002 his 50th anniversary being in Yerevan for his vacation.


He was born on September 29, 1952 in Yerevan, Armenia. He graduated from the high school No 58 with a golden medal in Yerevan (1969) and received his University degree from Yerevan State University in 1974. In the period 1976-80 he was fulfilling his post-graduate studies under Prof. M.Kazarian's supervision at Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (BAO) and received his PhD in 1984 from BAO.


While in Armenia his professional activity was connected with Yerevan State University where he held the positions of Senior Technician (1974-76), Head of Laboratory (1976-84), Assistant Professor (1984-91) and Associate Professor (1991-95). Since 1995 he holds appointments at the Astronomical Observatory R.M.Aller of the University of Santiago de Compostello, Spain. From the beginning he was a Senior Researcher (1995-99) and further and up to now he is the Science Adviser to the Director.


Vakhtang Tamazian has published more than 60 papers in major astronomical journals which are devoted to the rather wide range of questions beginning with the study of late type PMS stars in wide binaries and multiple stars, dynamical and astrophysical parameters of visual binaries consisted of variable components and ending with the detailed investigations of UV excess galaxies as well as stellar populations and physical conditions in AGN.


He is member of European Astronomical Society (1993) and Sociedad Espanola de Astronomia (2000). He entered ArAS in December 2001. On behalf of the Armenian Astronomical Society we wish him good health and success and new scientific achievements.









The Joint European and National Astronomical Meeting in 2002 (JENAM-2002) "The Unsolved Universe: Challenges for the Future" took place in Porto (Portugal) on September 2-7 this year. It included Plenary Sessions and seven Workshops. Six Armenian astronomers participated in this meeting:

Dr. Martik Hovhannisyan, Dr. Tigran Magakian, Dr. Areg Mickaelian and Dr. Tigran Movsessian (all from the Byurakan Observatory, Armenia);

Prof. Hrant Tovmassian (INAOE, Mexico);

Tigran Khanzadyan (Armagh, N. Ireland).

T.Magakian, T.Movsessian and T.Khanzadyan contributed in the Workshop "Jets 2002: Theory and Observations in YSOs", and H.Tovmassian, A.Mickaelian and M.Hovhannissyan - in the Workshop "Galaxy Evlution in Groups and Clusters". Additionally, they participated actively in some other workshops and discussions. In all, 1 oral talk and 8 posters have been presented by the Armenian astronomers.


Oral contribution:

"On the possible rotation of clusters of galaxies" (H.M.Tovmassian)



"A Near-Infrared Anatomical Study of Bow Shocks driven by Protostellar Outflows"

(T.Khanzadyan, M.D.Smith, C.J.Davis)

"Narrow band imaging survey of outflows and reflection nebulae in compact star forming regions"  (T.Yu.Magakian, T.H.Movsessian, E.G.Nikogossian)

"Imaging and integral field spectroscopy of RNO 129 compact star-forming group"  

(T.H.Movsessian, T.Yu.Magakian, J.-l.Gach)

"Helical structures in outflows and jets from YSO's"

(T.H.Movsessian, T.Yu.Magakian, S.N.Dodonov, A.V.Moiseev, M.D.Smith, J.Boulesteix)

"Optical Identification of Weak and Compact Radio Sources"

(M.A.Hovhannisyan, A.R.Ispiryan, A.N.Harutyunyan)

"Optical Investigations of Giant Radio Galaxy DA240"

(M.A.Hovhannisyan, A.R.Ispiryan, A.N.Harutyunyan)

"Optical Investigations of Giant Radio Galaxy 1219+04"

(M.A.Hovhannisyan, A.R.Ispiryan, A.N.Harutyunyan)

"Study of interacting/merging IRAS galaxies"



JENAM-2002 was a good chance for meeting other scientists, discussions, exchange of experience, and enjoying the scientific and friendly atmosphere in Porto. Participation of several astronomers from Byurakan was made possible by support of INTAS and other international programs.









Address:           Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (BAO),

Byurakan 378433, Aragatzotn province, ARMENIA

Tel/fax:             +374-1 53-27-51 (Areg Mickaelian)

E-mail:              aras@web.am, aras_org@freenet.am

Web page:        http://www.aras.am