A r A S N e w s
N E W S L E T T E R OF THE
ARMENIAN ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY ( A r A S )
Editor: T.Yu.Magakian, firstname.lastname@example.org
The ArAS Newsletter in the INTERNET: http://www.aras.am
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We apologize for the delay of this number of the Newsletter, which was the result of various non-related problems.
1) 95th anniversary of V.A. AMBARTSUMIAN
2) 90th anniversary of Beniamin MARKARIAN
3) 50th anniversary of Dr. Tigran MAGAKIAN
4) 8th International Astronomy Olympiad
5) Donations to
6) Contact information for
95th ANNIVERSARY of V.A. AMBARTSUMIAN
On September 18 this year, we celebrated the 95th anniversary of the greatest Armenian scientist, and one of the greatest astronomers of the XX century, Victor Ambartsumian.
Ambartsumian was born in 1908 in
In 1946 the Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory of the
Ambartsumian's works are distinguished in perfection and opened new directions in astrophysics. His papers on physics of gaseous nebulae and radiation transfer theory are classic ones. The Invariance Principle, formulated in these works for the first time, was widely applied in other fields of the science. Ambartsumian's investigations on the problem of stellar evolution brought in 1947 to revealing of stellar systems of new type - stellar associations. The existence of stellar associations in the Galaxy, dynamically non-stable and disintegrating systems, was the first observational evidence in favor of continuing at present star-formation in it. It was proved that at present star-forming processes are going on in the Universe, and stars are being formed in groups. Ambartsumian put forward a hypothesis on the joint origin of diffuse matter and stars in stellar associations from a dense matter of unknown nature - protostars.
Ambartsumian's studies of early stages of evolution of stars and stellar systems are rather significant. It was shown, that in the early stages of the evolution, the instability of state reveals itself, being the regular phase of cosmogonic processes. Among these results the conclusions about the existence of stellar systems of positive total energy in the Galaxy, non-thermal nature of ultraviolet stellar radiation of T Tauri type and flare stars, are to be mentioned.
V.A.Ambartsumian achieved new principle results in study of evolution of galaxies. In the mid-50s he gave a new explanation for radiation of radiogalaxies (opposite to the collision model) and proposed a new concept on activity of galactic nuclei. It was shown for the first time, that the central regions of galaxies - their nuclei, play decisive role in the phenomena of instability, observed in galaxies. Beside the stars and diffuse matter they must contain dense massive bodies of unknown nature. The activity of galactic nuclei defines their evolution. By the time, it was accepted by all astronomers (now a black hole is considered as the central engine of galaxies, which is the densest known matter for that scale), and at present most of the astrophysical observatories have the subject of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) as one of their main and AGN are the most intensively studied objects in extragalactic astronomy. Moreover, Ambartsumian was the first to understand that all observed unusual phenomena related to central regions of galaxies are of the same nature and have to be explained in a joint model: intense radio emission, QSO phenomenon, UV excess, jets and outflows, etc. At present, the Unified Scheme of AGN explains all this, however, its ideological basis was established about 30 years before the work of Antonucci and Miller!
Ambartsumian has carried out some other investigations of great importance in astrophysics as well, such as the study of the interstellar absorbing matter in Our Galaxy (the idea of its clumpy structure, the theory of fluctuations of light of the Milky Way), works on stellar dynamics (establishing the basis of a new, statistical mechanics of stellar systems), statistical investigations of flare stars, and others. Ambartsumian estimated the real number of flare stars in stellar aggregates just on the basis of stars shown flares before, and predicted that all dwarf stars pass through the stage of flare activity. Really, further observations and studies of these objects confirmed entirely Ambartsumian's prediction.
On these and many other topics V.A.Ambartsumian has published about 20 books and booklets, more than 200 scientific papers, numerous popular articles. His many-sided research has been represented in a 3-volume edition. Numerous books have been devoted to Ambartsumian's life and activity.
Ambartsumian was an outstanding organizer of science,
who significantly promoted the international scientific cooperation. In
1948-1955 he was the Vice-President, and in 1961-64 - the President of the
International Astronomical Union (IAU), in 1968 and 1970 he was twice elected
the President of the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU). In
1965, Ambartsumian founded a new journal Astrofizika
(English translation: Astrophysics), which he edited until 1988. It became the main
astrophysical journal of the
Ambartsumian's many-sided activity accepted high estimate. He was awarded governmental prizes, orders and medals of a number of countries (USSR State Prizes in 1946 and 1950, twice Hero of the Socialist Labour in 1968 and 1978, National Hero of Armenia in 1994, Russian State Prize in 1995), gold medals of a number of academies and scientific societies. He was elected honorary and foreign member of 28 Academies of Sciences, including USA, UK, France, Italy, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Greece, Czechoslovakia, India, Argentina, and other National Academies, honorary member of scientific societies of many countries, honorary doctor of the Universities of Canberra (Australia), La Plata (Argentina), Warsaw and Torun (Poland), Prague (Czechoslovakia), Liege (Belgium) and Sorbonne (France).
Victor A. Ambartsumian passed away on
90th ANNIVERSARY of BENIAMIN MARKARIAN
This year we celebrated the 90th anniversary of B.E. Markarian, one of our greatest astronomers, the author of the Byurakan surveys and discoverer of the famous Markarian galaxies.
Beniamin Egishevich Markarian was
After returning from the Army, since 1942 Markarian
worked as a senior research associate at the Yerevan Astronomical Observatory.
Here he published his first scientific paper on the Eclipsing Variable SS Cam. In
May 1944 he defended his Ph.D. thesis on a subject "Fluctuations in the visible
distribution of stars and the cosmic absorption". In 1943-1956 he worked
also simultaneously as a lecturer at the YSU. Later, Markarian took a very
active part in search of a site, and later on also in organization of the
Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (BAO). Since the foundation of BAO in 1946,
Markarian started to work as a senior research associate. He personally mounted
and functioned all telescopes of the Observatory (except the latest 2.6m), thus
making a base for development of the observational astronomy in
In 40s, Prof. Ambartsumian put forward an interesting idea on continuing of the group birth of stars at present time and on dynamical instability of stellar systems, stellar "associations". Markarian took very active part in study of stellar associations, and the merit of revealing of the role of stellar clusters in associations belonged to him. On the basis of an analysis of a large observational material Markarian showed that it was possible to separate a class of O-clusters having a great significance in understanding of the initial stages of stellar evolution. He worked out a new classification of stellar clusters allowing to distinguish among them the objects of different ages and made up the first systematic catalog of O-associations with mentioning of stellar clusters in them. In just the first years of the existence of BAO, obtaining photos of a significant number of stars of open clusters with a small telescope, Markarian made up in 1952 an "Atlas of the open stellar clusters", which was used widely by astronomers of many observatories for many years.
After the construction of a new 1m Schmidt telescope for the Byurakan Observatory by the Leningrad Optical Mechanical Works (LOMO), one of the most efficient telescopes of this type, Markarian together with colleagues from LOMO was engaged in its mounting. It was an intense work requiring many forces during day and night and the large experience acquired by Markarian during mounting of all previous telescopes here became crucial. The 1m Schmidt telescope was an important facility for new interesting astrophysical tasks. Already before the mounting of the new telescope Markarian was engaged in study of bright galaxies, where he noticed strange non-correspondence of the colours with the morphological types: these were galaxies with an excessive ultraviolet radiation. In 1963, he published an important paper with a list of 40 such galaxies. An idea of discovery, catalogization and detailed study of fainter galaxies of this type grew in Markarian's mind. He ordered a prism with a very low dispersion in LOMO, and receiving and mounting it on the telescope, he started the observations. According to the estimations of many authority scientists, he was a brilliant observer, and the special methods worked out by him allowed to solve the task of revealing these unusual galaxies.
The galaxies discovered by Markarian appeared to be so interesting objects that the observational time of the world largest telescopes during a long period of time was allocated for their detailed investigation. Searching UV-excess galaxies, Markarian and his colleagues V.A. Lipovetsky and J.A. Stepanian during 1965-1980 observed the entire Northern sky and a part of the Southern sky, and as a result of this work, the First Byurakan Survey (FBS) was obtained. It was found that among the 1500 objects having abnormal excess of UV radiation discovered during the fulfilment of the FBS (Markarian galaxies), there appear objects with various evidence of activity - QSOs, Seyfert galaxies, BL Lac objects, LINERs, Starburst galaxies, sources of radio, infrared, X-ray, and gamma-ray radiation, interacting and merging objects, galaxies with double and multiple nuclei. The FBS brought to the first classification of Seyferts and the definition of Starburst galaxies.
In the last years of his life, Markarian together
with his colleagues J.A. Stepanian, V.A. Lipovetsky
and L.K. Erastova started the Second Byurakan Spectral Sky Survey (SBS) for
revealing and studies of fainter distant extragalactic peculiar objects. The
first publication on the SBS appeared in 1983. Altogether, Markarian has
published more than 100 papers. Two catalogues of Markarian galaxies have been
published in 1986 (Mazzarella & Balzano) and 1989 (Markarian et al.). Since 1997, the list of
Markarian galaxies is available at CDS database,
Markarian's investigations brought a wide fame to him and
scientific authority among the specialists as in the
Markarian was a member of IAU since 1955, Commissions
Nos. 28 and 37. For outstanding achievements in science in 1965 he was elected
a Corresponding member of the
Markarian was an honest, modest and kind person, but
simultaneously strict and requiring to himself and his colleagues. Till the end
of his life, in spite of his bad health, he worked actively, continuing to do
the main job of his scientific activity, survey works in extragalactic
astronomy. Markarian passed away on
50th ANNIVERSARY of Dr. Tigran MAGAKIAN
Dr. Tigran Yu. Magakian, the Vice-President of ArAS and the Editor of our Newsletter, celebrated his 50th anniversary.
Tigran Magakian has published about 60 papers in major astronomical journals (A&A, Russian Astron. J, Astrofizika, etc.) which are devoted to study of young stellar objects in our Galaxy. Recently he published a Merged catalogue of reflection nebulae (A&A, 399, 141, 2003). His research interests concern Herbig-Haro objects, T Tauri stars, cometary nebulae, jets from young stars, and many other objects and phenomena. Among his other achievements the studies of so-called spectral asymmetry in cometary nebulae and discoveries and thorough analysis of many dozens of Herbig-Haro objects should be noted.
participated in a number of international astronomy meetings, including JENAM,
IAU Symposia and Colloquia. On his initiative, new international collaborations
have been established with French, Japanese,
As an interesting and unusual hobby of Magakian his participation in various games on intellect and erudition should be mentioned, where he had many achievements and just recently became a laureate of "Crystal Owl", awarded by Armenian and Russian TV channels.
Magakian is a member of the International Astronomical Union (IAU, 1988), the European Astronomical Society (EAS, 1991), the Euro-Asian Astronomical Society (EAAS, 1996) and the Armenian Astronomical Society (1999). He was one of the active founders of our society in 1999-2001. In 2002, Magakian was elected in the Scientific-Technical Council of EAAS.
On behalf of the Armenian Astronomical Society we wish him good health and success and new scientific achievements.
8th INTERNATIONAL ASTRONOMY OLYMPIAD
International Astronomy Olympiad (IAO) was held in
were divided into two groups: seniors (30 students) and juniors (28 students).
Armenian team was formed of four students, involved in the senior group.
According to the rules of IAO, each country is allowed to present only two
students in the senior group. Because of results, reached by Armenian students
in the last IAO-s, our team was completed of four students. They are all gifted
students of the "Quantum"
Zhirayr Avetisyan, Mkrtich Soghomonyan, Artavazd Minasyan and Davit Aghamalyan.
Zhirayr Avetisyan and Mkrtich Soghomonyan won the first rank diploma in the senior group
competition. Besides, the diplomants of the senior group
became also two students from
Research Associate, Byurakan Observatory and
Senior Lecturer, "Quantum" College.
Address: Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (BAO),
Byurakan 378433, Aragatzotn province,
Tel/fax: +374-1 53-27-51 (Areg Mickaelian)
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Web page: http://www.aras.am