A r A S†† N e w s






No. 25†† (April 28, 2008)



Editor: Lilit Hovhannisyan



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




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1.    Ambartsumianís 100th anniversary

2.    Second Byurakan International Summer School

3.    Anniversaries











Ambartsumianís 100th anniversary


This year we celebrate Professor V.A. Ambartsumianís 100th anniversary. Ambartsumian was the founder of the Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory, he is the greatest Armenian astronomer of all times and one of the greatest astronomers of the XX century in the world. Ambartsumianís 100th anniversary will be celebrated worldwide and is included in UNESCOís official list as well.


Victor Ambartsumian, one of the founders of modern astrophysics, had founded the first in the Soviet Union astrophysics department at the Saint-Petersburg State University, and the Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory in Armenia (1946). He was among the founding members of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences (1943), having consequently served as its President (1947-1993). He was elected the IAU President (1961-1964), as well as twice the ISCU President (1968-1972). You can read more about Ambartsumian's biography, his achievements, honours and awards at http://aras.am/Ambartsumian.html or http://www.bao.am/VAmbartsumian.html.


The conference "Evolution of cosmic objects through their physical activity" will be the most important event in Ambartsumianís 100th anniversary celebrations. It will take place on September,
15-19, 2008, in Byurakan (the scientific sessions) and Yerevan (the opening session and the
ceremonial meeting on the 19th), Armenia.


Recently the First Announcement of the conference was distributed. You can find all available information about this event at http://www.bao.am/VA100.html. The registration is open and available online at http://www.bao.am/registration.html. Here we give brief most important information.


Armenian National Academy of Sciences and the Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (BAO) are the organizers.


Scientific Organizing Committee (SOC):

Halton Arp (Germany)
Yuri Balega (Russia)
Geoffrey Burbidge (USA), Co-chair
Anatoly Cherepashchuk (Russia)
Michael Dopita (Australia)
Daniel Kunth (France)
Hayk Harutyunyan (Armenia), Co-chair
Jayant Narlikar (India) to be confirmed
Sadanori Okamura (Japan)
Roberto Terlevich (Mexico)
Ian Robson (UK) to be confirmed
Yervant Terzian (USA)

The Local Organizing Committee (LOC) consists of H.A. Harutyunyan & A.M. Mickaelian (Co-Chairs), S.K. Balayan, A.L. Gyulbudaghyan, A.A. Hakobyan, T.Yu. Magakian, V.H. Malumyan, N.D. Melikyan, A.G. Nikoghossian, E.H. Nikoghosyan, and A.R. Petrosian.

A limited number of travel grants will be available, reserved mainly for invited speakers and young participants.


Some important deadlines:


Jun 30, 2008†† Deadline for Submission of Abstracts and Travel Grant Applications

Jul 15, 2008††† Applicants to be informed on outcome of Travel Grant Applications and Confirmation of Acceptance of Abstracts

Jul 20, 2008   Deadline for Early Registration and Hotel Reservation


Contacts: Hayk Harutyunyan, Co-chair, SOC and LOC: hhayk@bao.sci.am and
Areg Mickaelian, Co-Chair LOC: aregmick@apaven.am.






First Announcement


The Second Byurakan International Summer School for young astronomers "Practical Astrophysics" will take place on September 20-30, 2008 in Byurakan (Armenia). It is being organized jointly by the Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (BAO) and the Armenian Astronomical Society (ArAS). The School is also devoted to Prof. V.A. Ambartsumianís 100th anniversary and will be linked to Ambartsumian's Centennial meeting, so that the students may also participate in these events before the school.††


The Byurakan Observatory is one of the main observational centers of the former Soviet Union and is an important observatory with modern facilities in the Middle East region. It was founded in 1946 by V.A. Ambartsumian and is well known for its large spectroscopic surveys: the First and Second Byurakan Surveys, undertaken by B.E. Markarian and colleagues.


The Byurakan Observatory hosts a number of medium-size optical telescopes, the most important being the 2.6m classical telescope and 1m Schmidt telescope. There are various modern astronomical instruments, including the multi-pupil spectrograph (VAGR). The Byurakan Observatory holds the Digitized First Byurakan Survey (DFBS, or the Markarian survey), containing low-dispersion spectra for ~20,000,000 objects. Many qualified specialists work presently in Byurakan, who are prepared to teach modern astrophysics to young people. In addition, a number of well-known scientists are invited to lecture during the school on various interesting topics.




Ground-based Telescopes and Modern Observational Techniques;

Space Telescopes and Space Missions;

2D spectroscopy;

Computers for Astronomy: Astronomical Data Reduction;

Archives, Databases and Virtual Observatories;

Studies of Planets, Stars, Nebulae, and Galaxies by various methods;

Astronomical Surveys and Future Giant Projects;




Most of the time will be devoted to lectures (2-3 lectures daily) and practical courses (observations and data reduction). The following events will take place during the School:

Lectures on different aspects of observational astrophysics;

Observations with 2.6m telescope;

Data reduction with MIDAS and IRAF packages;

Observations with small telescopes;

Practical courses of astronomy with computers;

Acquaintance with the Byurakan Observatory and its research;

Excursions to famous Armenian sightseeing.


Tentative list of Lecturers and Lectures:††††††


Dr. Don BARRY (Cornell University, USA)

Dr. Michel DENNEFELD (Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, France)

Dr. Dieter ENGELS (Hamburger Sternwarte, Germany)

Dr. Haik HARUTYUNIAN (Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory, Armenia)

Dr. Daniel KUNTH (Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, France)

Dr. Tigran MAGAKIAN (Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory, Armenia)

Dr. Areg MICKAELIAN (Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory, Armenia)

Dr. Tigran MOVSESSIAN (Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory, Armenia)

Dr. Artashes PETROSIAN (Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory, Armenia)

Dr. Avetis SADOYAN (Yerevan State University, Armenia)

Ms. Lusine SARGSYAN (Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory, Armenia)


Participation and Accommodation:


Upper-level University students and post-graduate students are eligible to apply for participation. Please send the completed registration form (see below) by e-mail to Areg Mickaelian (aregmick@apaven.am) before August 10, 2008. Online registration will be also available soon at the BAO and ArAS web pages.


The students must have a working knowledge of English which will be the official language of the school, as well as sufficient level in physics and mathematics. A maximum of 30 students will be selected. The participants will stay in the Byurakan Observatory hotel and hostel. Meals will be offered in Byurakan, too.


There is no participation fee. All lecturers and students may stay in Byurakan for free and the meals will be also offered for free. Those participants who wish to stay in Yerevan hotels should take care for the payments by themselves.


The organizers will also take care for the transportation of all participants from the airport to Byurakan and back.


Sponsors and Financial Support


The school is supported by the Armenian Government, the Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (BAO), and the Armenian Astronomical Society (ArAS).


A small number of travel grants will be distributed for a partial support of students exceptionally from countries with limited resources. An application for a financial support with a brief justification should be sent by e-mail before June 30, 2008 to Areg Mickaelian (aregmick@apaven.am).


International Organizing Committee (IOC)


Don Barry (USA)

Michel Dennefeld (France)

Dieter Engels (Co-chair, Germany)

Haik Harutyunian (Armenia)

Daniel Kunth (France)

Areg Mickaelian (Co-chair, Armenia)


Local Organizing Committee (LOC)


A.M. Mickaelian (Chair), K.S. Gigoyan, L.R. Hovhannisyan, N.D. Melikyan, E.H. Nikoghosyan, L.A. Sargsyan, P.K. Sinamyan.




April 28, 2008†††††††††††††††††††††††† First (this) Announcement

June 30, 2008††††††††† ††††††††††††† Deadline for applications for support

July 10, 2008††††††††† †††††††††††††† Notification on distribution of travel grants

July 20, 2008††††††††† †††††††††††††† Second Announcement with tentative program

August 10, 2008†††††† †††††††††††† Deadline for registration

August 20, 2008††††††† †††††††††††† Final Announcement with detailed program

September 20-30, 2008†††††† Second Byurakan International Summer School


Contact Addresses


Address: Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory, Byurakan 0213, Aragatzotn Province, Armenia.

Phone:††††††††††† †††††††††† +374-10 58-06-56 (Areg Mickaelian)

Fax:†††† †††††††††† +374-10 51-92-05

E-mail:†††††††††† aregmick@apaven.am (Areg Mickaelian)

Web page:†††† Will be set up soon at BAO (www.bao.am) and ArAS (www.aras.am) pages



††††††††††††††††††††††† REGISTRATION FORM



First name:




University, department:

Year and stage of Academic studies:



Your reasons for wishing to attend the school:



Name and address of your supervisor or a person who will give recommendation:


Postal Address:

Phone:††††††††††††††††††††††††† Fax:

E-mail:†††††††††††††††††††††††† Web page:









The first half of 2008 is rich in anniversaries of ArAS members (Richard Belian, 70, Lidia Erastova, 70, and Rafik Kandalian, 60), as well as the famous Armenian astronomer, one of the founders of the Byurakan Observatory, late Ludwik Mirzoyan, 85.


A biographical review about Prof. Ludwik Mirzoyan (1923-1999) is available at the ArAS webpage under ďFamous Armenian astronomersĒ.


Richard (Dick) BELIAN was born on February 23, 1938, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. He received his Masters Degree in physics from the University of New Mexico in the spring of 1967. Following two summers as a Los Alamos GRA in J.G., he joined the full time staff at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Los Alamos, New Mexico, in 1967 where he has been ever since. Initially, Belian worked on a new instrument for the Vela satellites, the XAVIER or cosmic X-ray detector. This instrument was responsible for the discovery of short, intense, high energy astrophysical events. Since then Richard has worked as on a large number of energetic particle detectors for earth orbit. In 1982, he became the PI for the Advanced Particle Outboard or APO detectors, which is the follow-through energetic particle detector for the Advanced RADEC II (AR II) program. In addition, Richard has hardware responsibilities for the Imaging Electron Spectrometer or IES instruments for NASA and ESA/NASA International Solar-Terrestrial Physics (ISTP) program. In all, Richard is or has been PI on 45 instruments now in space, and 5 more awaiting launch and co-I on several others. Recently, Richard has been associated with the highly successful NASA Lunar Prospector project, where he was responsible for one of the three LANL detectors, the APS, on that lunar satellite. Also, Richard is PI on a new programmatic instrument the PEM (Proton Electron Monitor) that will be flown as part of new nuclear detection instrumentation for geosynchronous orbit. He is the Los Alamos Cluster team leader of the Space and Remote Sensing Sciences group. Although Richard's major efforts have been in the areas of conceiving, designing, building, calibrating and testing flight instruments, he has been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to do basic research, both in the area of energetic particles in the earth's magnetosphere and in X-ray astronomy during the early days of that area of high energy astrophysics - first author on 12, coauthor on more than 100 refereed papers. Dr. Belian is an AAS and ArAS (since March 2002) member.


Lidia K. ERASTOVA was born on February 6, 1938, in Ush-Tode (Alma-Ata, Kazakhstan). In 1960, she has graduated from the Yerevan State University (YSU), Department of Physics (Chair of Astrophysics), and began working at the Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (BAO). Since then, she almost all the time (with a short absence to the Russian Special Astrophysical Observatory, SAO at the beginning of 1990s) lives in Byurakan and is one of the most experienced scientists of BAO. In 1982, she defended her Ph.D. thesis under Prof. V.A. Ambartsumianís supervision. Erastovaís participated in two very important projects carried out in Byurakan: search for flare stars in star clusters and associations (under Prof. L.V. Mirzoyanís supervision) and the Second Byurakan Survey (SBS), one of the most important projects of BAO (under Prof. B.E. Markarianís supervision). Her main scientific fields are the non-stable stars, surveys, AGN, starburst galaxies. She has published some 100 scientific papers on various topics of astronomy. Dr. Erastova is a founding member of ArAS (since July 2001). At present she continues to work on active galaxies, SBS galaxies, as well as the Digitized First Byurakan Survey (DFBS).


Rafik A. KANDALIAN was born on March 12, 1948, in Yerevan. In 1973, he has graduated from the Leningrad (St. Petersburg) State University, Department of Physics (Chair of Radiophysics), and began working at the Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (BAO). He took his post-graduate studies in 1977-1980 and defended his Ph.D. thesis in Astrophysics in 1984 under Prof. V.A. Sanamianís supervision. He served as the Scientific Secretary of BAO for international affairs for a few years. He has participated in several important radio-astronomical projects in Byurakan. Kandalianís main scientific fields are radiogalaxies, IR galaxies, and megamasers. He has conducted a number of collaborations with foreign astrophysical centres, including Australia, Russia, and France, and has carried out observations with a number of important radio and millimeter telescopes, both in Armenia and abroad. Kandalian an author of more than 100 scientific papers. He works during the last years at the Al-Albayt University of Jordan, where he teaches a number of astronomy and physics courses for the students. He is a member of IAU (since 1994), EAS, and ArAS (February 2002).


We congratulate Richard Belian, Lidia Erastova, and Rafik Kandalian and wish them good health, further success, and prosperity.