A r A S   N e w s






No. 12   (December 31, 2004)



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



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








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ArAS wishes Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!














1) Collaboration between the Russian and Armenian Academies

2) 75th Anniversary of Prof. Elma Parsamian

3) In the Memory of Armen Oskanyan

4) ArAS Annual Prize for Young Astronomers

5) ANSEF Announces 2005 Grants








Collaboration between the Russian and Armenian Academies


A new agreement was signed between Armenian National Academy of Sciences and the Southern Center of Russian Academy of Sciences. Astrophysics has been nominated among the main directions of cooperation between two scientific systems. At the turn of November the Armenian members of the working group for this cooperation had a meeting in the Russian city of Taganrog where the ways of further cooperation were discussed.


Director of BAO H.Harutyunian as a member of this coordination group participated in the discussions as well. Particularly the perspectives of joint projects in astrophysics were discussed with the director of the Special Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) Yu.Balega and head of laboratory S.Dodonov. Their attention was concentrated especially on the problem of reconstruction of BAO 1m Schmidt telescope. The sides mentioned that this legendary telescope which had been one of the most fruitfully operated wide-field telescopes in the world could give new astronomical results even nowadays and should be reconstructed for this purpose. They agreed to focus their efforts for obtaining the necessary finances both from Armenian and Russian sources.


New plans on establishing a joint laboratory have been discussed as well. Further joint plans were corroborated by a bilateral agreement on intentions between BAO and SAO.




75th anniversary of Prof. Elma Parsamian


Prof. Elma Parsamian, famous Armenian woman astronomer, celebrated her 75th anniversary.


Elma Parsamian was born in Yerevan. She graduated from Yerevan State University (YSU) Department of Physics, specialization of Astrophysics in 1954, and the same year joined the staff of the Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (BAO). She defended her Ph.D. degree in Physical-Mathematical Sciences in 1961, and in 1983 became a Doctor of Physical-Mathematical Sciences. For long years she worked in the Department of Stars and Nebulae of Byurakan observatory. Presently she is a Head of scientific group. In 1989 Elma Parsamian obtained professorship and in 2000 she was elected to National Academy of Sciences of Armenia as a corresponding member.


Prof. Parsamian's main research fields are variable and non-stable stars, galactic nebulae and archaeoastronomical studies.


Parsamian actively participated in the long-term Byurakan studies of flare stars in stellar clusters and associations and personally found many tens of them, including not easy detectable slow flares. She also found many variable stars of other types as well as many tens of stars with H-alpha emission. With E.Chavira she prepared a catalogue of emission-line stars in Orion association. Several papers of Parsamian are dedicated to the study of so-called subfuors - stars with drastic long term changes in the luminosity level.


Among other works of Prof. Parsamian should be mentioned spectral and photometric studies of nebulae as well as widely known to astronomical community catalogues of the cometary nebulae.


Another field of activity of Elma Parsamian is represented by archeological and archaeoastronomical studies. Actually she was the first researcher who described the probable astronomical purpose of pre-historic megalithic complexes of Metzamor and Karahunj in Armenia.


For many years Prof. Parsamian worked in close collaboration with Mexican astronomers, including famous Prof. G.Haro and published many joint papers.


Prof. Parsamian published more than 140 scientific papers and about 20 popular articles. She is a member of Editorial board of "Astrofizika" journal. She is a member of BAO Scientific and Specialized Councils, member of IAU (1976), EAS (1998), ArAS and several other scientific councils and societies.


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



In the memory of Armen Oskanyan


In a tragic twist of events an Armenian teacher and his student perished in Crimea, where they were participating in the international competition in astronomy. The teacher was Armen Oskanyan, the heir of the famous Armenian Tehlerian clan, who, as a result of Armenian capricious destiny's desire, was born in Beograd in 1949. Being a son of an Armenian father and Serbian mother, and having received his education in Serbia, he nonetheless spoke eastern Armenian fluently, as the dream of the elder members of his family for many decades had been the return to the mother country. The dream came true in 1966, when his father, the director of the Beograd observatory was invited to work in the Byurakan observatory.


After studying for two years in the school No.19, in Yerevan, Armen Oskanyan was admitted in the faculty of physics in the Yerevan State University in 1968, where he got Lenin scholarship, obtained his diploma under supervision of Prof. Victor Ambartsumian, fulfilled his military service in the Soviet army, and started working at the Byurakan Observatory, where he defended his thesis.


Most likely he would continue to live a usual life of our present day researcher, doing only research works, if he did not start teaching at the college "Quantum". It was here where his real talent in the very responsible work of educating gifted adolescents was discovered. His colleagues from Byurakan knew very well that responsibility for his work was expressed very strongly, to even incomprehensible for some people extent of extremity in him. Nevertheless, no one could imagine how self-denyingly and vigorously he would devote himself to his apprentices and to his task of educating them.


There can be no doubts that the medals that have been won in the international competitions by our teenagers in the recent years would not have entered the country had not the students had the honor of being taught by Armen Oskanyan. He knew his students' strong and weak sides, their aspirations, but his own greatest dream was to see them years later working as specialists in Byurakan. That is why he was always informing his colleagues in Byurakan which one of his students had been admitted in the faculty of physics of Yerevan State University, which one had an intention to become an astrophysicist. Therefore it was not unexpected when he was nominated the best teacher of the Armenian Republic.


One last act of devotion and self-sacrifice brought his life to end at the age of only 55. He threw himself into the sea in order to save the endangered lives of his students. He managed to save one of them, but could not help the second one. This became the very reason of Armen Oskanyan's death, as his loyal heart was not able to endure the pain of this dreadful loss.


The memory of a man and a scientist so modest, so willing to help his fellow men and so faithful to the ones who were close to him will forever remain in the heart of everyone who knew him. The Teacher, devoted to his profession and to his apprentices demonstrated with the way he lived, and even with the way he passed away, that he was worth his honorable title.





ArAS Annual Prize for Young Astronomers


Lusine Sargsyan, junior research associate, Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory, was announced the first winner of the ArAS Annual Prize for young astronomers in 2004. A certificate and a sum of USD100 donated by Prof. Yervant Terzian just for this occasion were handed to Lusine on Monday, December 27 in Byurakan.


Lusine Sargsyan, 26, has graduated from the Yerevan State University, Department of Astrophysics, and works in Byurakan since 2001. She is an ArAS member since 2002. Her research in 2004 was devoted to identifications and study of IRAS galaxies (BIG objects) and the project of digitization of the First Byurakan Survey (DFBS). Lusine’s results and activities in 2004 include 4 publications (papers published in "Astrofizika", "Baltic Astronomy" and Proceedings of IAU Symp. No. 216), participation in the ArAS III Annual Meeting in Byurakan (an oral contribution), and organization and editing of the astronomical program broadcasted by the Armenian National TV Channel on behalf of the ArAS.


We congratulate Lusine with this success and wish her future scientific achievements.




ANSEF announces 2005 grants


The Armenian National Science and Educational Fund (ANSEF) announced recently new research awards for 2005. This year only one project from the Byurakan Observatory has been approved. The project headed by Dr. Ruben Andreasyan, "The 3-D structure of the magnetic field of the Galaxy" was awarded the Mesrobian Memorial Award in frame of ANSEF.


ANSEF grants are active since 2001. Altogether, 11 projects from the Byurakan Observatory have been awarded ANSEF grants, USD 5000 each. The previous winners were:



Khachikian E.Ye., Radio and Optical Investigations of Extragalactic Objects

Mickaelian A.M., Study of Starburst/AGN/Interaction Phenomena in IRAS Galaxies


Hovhannisyan M.A., The Investigation of the Extended Radio Galaxies

Magakian T.Yu., Searches and Detailed Studies of Outflows from PMS Stars

Mickaelian A.M., Digitization of the First Byurakan Survey (FBS)


Movsessian T.H., Multi-Component Investigation of Extragalactic Radio Sources

Zalinian V.P., Updating the Control of the Telescope ZTA-2.6


Andreasyan R.R., The Distribution of Free Electrons in the Galaxy

Hakopian S.A., 3D-study of SBS galaxies

Ter-Kazarian G.T., An Activity of Galactic Nuclei and Superdence “Protomatter” Sources in the Universe


ANSEF grants are significant support for the Byurakan astronomers giving possibility for active research in the most important areas.