A r A S†† N e w s






No. 27†† (October 15, 2008)



Editor: Lilit Hovhannisyan



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




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1.    Ambartsumianís 100th anniversary events:

Ambartsumianís 100th anniversary meeting

Second Byurakan International Summer School

Ambartsumian-100 book and DVD

2.    ArAS prize for young scientists 2008

3.    Anniversaries



Ambartsumianís 100th anniversary EVENTS


Most of the events dedicated to Prof. V.A. Ambartsumianís 100th anniversary took place in September; there was a solemn meeting at the Armenian National Academy of Sciences on Sep 12, an international conference "Evolution of cosmic objects through their physical activity" on Sep 15-18, opening of Ambartsumianís bust in the Byurakan Observatory and visit to the cemetery on Sep 18, a ceremonial meeting and concert at the Opera House in Yerevan on Sep 19, and the Second Byurakan International Summer School ďPractical AstrophysicsĒ on Sep 20-30. In addition, a book with memories about V.A. Ambartsumian (compiled and edited by E.S. Parsamian) and a DVD with all available information about him (compiled by A.M. Mickaelian) were published. ††


Ambartsumianís 100th anniversary MEETING

15-18 September 2008


The conference "Evolution of cosmic objects through their physical activity" was the most important event among Ambartsumianís 100th anniversary celebrations. The official opening took place on September 15 in Yerevan, at the Armenian Academy of Sciences. The scientific sessions were held on Sep 16-18 and were devoted to various problems of astrophysics, mainly related to the fields where Ambartsumian has significantly contributed.


Armenian National Academy of Sciences and the Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (BAO) were the organizers of the conference. The conference was sponsored by the Armenian Government and the International Science and Technology Centre (ISTC). The Scientific Organizing Committee (SOC) included: Halton Arp (Germany), Yuri Balega (Russia), Geoffrey Burbidge (USA, Co-chair), Anatoly Cherepashchuk (Russia), Michael Dopita (Australia), Hayk Harutyunyan (Armenia, Co-chair), Daniel Kunth (France), Jayant Narlikar (India), Sadanori Okamura (Japan), Elma Parsamian (Armenia), Ian Robson (UK), David Sedrakian (Armenia), Roberto Terlevich (Mexico), and Yervant Terzian (USA). Co-chairs of the LOC were H.A. Harutyunyan & A.M. Mickaelian, and E.H. Nikoghosyan was the Secretary.


87 scientists from 12 countries participated in the meeting. During the three days of scientific sessions, 35 oral talks and 10 posters were presented, including invited review talks on Ambartsumianís major contributions in various fields of astrophysics.



20-30 September 2008


The Second Byurakan International Summer School for young astronomers "Practical Astrophysics" took place on September 20-30, 2008 in Byurakan (Armenia). It was organized jointly by the Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (BAO) and the Armenian Astronomical Society (ArAS). The School was also devoted to Prof. V.A. Ambartsumianís 100th anniversary and was sponsored by the Armenian Government. The international Organizing Committee (IOC) included: Don Barry (USA), Michel Dennefeld (France), Dieter Engels (Co-chair, Germany), Haik Harutyunian (Armenia), Daniel Kunth (France), and Areg Mickaelian (Co-chair, Armenia). The LOC was chaired by A.M. Mickaelian and L.A. Sargsyan was the secretary.


15 Armenian and 16 foreign students from 9 countries (Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Jordan, and Armenia) participated in the school. 12 lecturers from 5 countries (Germany, France, USA, Australia, and Armenia) held 14 lectures on various topics of astrophysics and 7 practical exercises on astronomical software, data reduction with IDL, SMART (SST IRS spectra) and GILDAS (radio spectra), and practical work with Spitzer and radio archives and the DFBS web portal. The students made presentations on their own research or activities of their home institutions.

The Third Byurakan International Summer School is planned for 2010 and may be combined with the IAU International School for Young Astronomers (ISYA).


Ambartsumian-100 BOOK and DVD


The book (Viktor Ambartsumian Ė 100, compiled by E.S. Parsamian, 556 p., Yerevan 2008) is a collection of memories and statements about V.A. Ambartsumian and is a result of 10 years work by Prof. E.S. Parsamian. 70 authors from various countries have contributed, included famous scientists such as Jan Oort, Subrahmanian Chandrasekhar, Geoffrey Burbidge, Adrian Blaauw, Halton Arp, Lodewijk Woltjer, Jean-Claude Pecker, Yervant Terzian, and many others. In addition, Ambartsumianís biography in three languages (Armenian, Russian, English) by Prof. L.V. Mirzoyan, a chronological list of his achievements, and a list of the most important publications are attached.


The DVD (Viktor Ambartsumian Ė 100, compiled by A.M. Mickaelian, Yerevan, 2008) was compiled for a full information concerning Prof. V.A. Ambartsumian, including his biography, scientific results, achievements, publications, photos, videos, etc. Among the most important materials that are given for the first time are: a newly compiled chronological dates of Ambartsumianís life (330 items) and its statistics, an interactive CV, newly compiled list of 135 achievements and their statistics, a list of 20 most important scientific results by Ambartsumian (according to H.A. Harutyunyan and A.M. Mickaelian), list of 71 publications about Ambartsumian, most complete list of Ambartsumianís 610 publications (including 225 original scientific papers) and statistics, PDF files of 237 original publications (including 18 books) and 37 translated ones, 433 photos describing Ambartsumianís life and activity, three video movies, a list of items named after Ambartsumian, etc. Most of the material is cross-translated and is available in English, Russian, and Armenian.






ArAS announces its next Annual Prize for Young Scientists that will be awarded at the end of this year. As in previous years, the prize will be awarded to a young scientist under 35 working in astronomy or related field and showing significant results in research and/or other scientific activities connected anyhow with the Armenian astronomy. Nominations may be made by ArAS members or any research organization from Armenia or elsewhere and should be sent to one of the ArAS Co-Presidents. They should include personal data for the nominee and a brief description of his/her achievements during the year, including important scientific results, all published papers, participation in meetings, given talks, etc., whatever is considered to be important. The deadline for applications is December 1. The selection will be made by a special committee and the results will be announced in the last issue of ArAS Newsletter at the end of the year. A diploma and sum of $100 will be awarded to the winner. As in the previous years, the ArAS Co-President Prof. Yervant Terzian is sponsoring the annual Prize for Young Scientists in 2008, too.




Prof. Vahé PETROSIAN - 70. Vahe Petrosian, Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Stanford University recently celebrated his 70th anniversary. He was born on September 3, 1938. He studied physics and astrophysics at the Cornell University in 1958-1962 (B.E.E.) and 1962-63 (M.S., thesis adviser Prof. Marshall Cohen). In 1963-67, he finished his Ph.D. studies under the supervision of Prof. Edwin Salpeter and defended his Ph.D. thesis. Prof. Petrosianís professional experience started in 1961: he was a Teaching Assistant at Cornell University (1961), Research Assistant, CRSR, Cornell Univ. (1962-67), Research Assoc, CRSR, Cornell Univ. (1967), Research Fellow, Calif. Inst. Technology (1967-69), Visiting Scientist, IOTA Cambridge (1969), Assistant Professor, Stanford Univ. (1969-71), Consultant, Kitt Peak Natl Observatory (1971), Associate Professor, Stanford Univ. (1972-79), Professor, Stanford University (since 1980), work at Arcetri, Florence; NOAO, Tucson,AZ; Nordita, Copenhagen; Cornell Univ. (1982-83), at Observatoire de Meudon, France (1989-90), at Space Telescope Science Institute (1996), at NOAO, Tucson, AZ (1998), and at Inst. Adv. Studies; Bochum Univ. (2000).

Prof. Petrosianís main fields of scientific interests are theoretical astrophysics with concentration on high energy astrophysical processes in solar and stellar flares, gamma-ray bursts, accretion disks of stellar and active galactic black holes and clusters of galaxies, and in cosmology; early phase of the universe, the evolution of galaxies and quasars, arcs in clusters of galaxies, and gravitational lensing. His research interests have been in two broad areas of high energy astrophysics and cosmology. The former area includes studies of acceleration, transport and radiation of non-thermal particles, developed primarily for application to solar flares. This works has also found application in variety of other astrophysical sources including accretion disks, Gamma-ray bursts and Clusters of Galaxies. The work in cosmology is focused on evolution of galaxies and quasars (and AGNs in general), and in luminous arcs in clusters of galaxies (of which he is a co-discoverer: R. Lynds & V. Petrosian, 1989, "Luminous Arcs in Clusters of Galaxies", ApJ, 336) and gravitational lensing. Another interest has been in the area of statistical methods relevant to analysis of astronomical data. This work is carried out in collaboration with B. Efron of the Statistics Department at Stanford has been concentrated on development of new non-parametric methods for determination of distribution of astronomical sources from truncated data.

Prof. Petrosian has published more than 250 scientific papers on several subjects, including Gamma-Ray Burst (>40 publications), quasars and AGN (>20), Solar flares (>70), statistical methods (>15), and others (>100). He had more than 30 thesis undergraduate and graduate students and 7 postdoctoral associates since 1973.

Prof. Petrosian was awarded the Iranian National Fellowship (1958-62), the Industrial Fellowship, Cornell University (1963-64), and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship (1972-74). He is a member of the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), International Astronomical Union (IAU), American Astronomical Society (AAS), Eta Kappa Nu, and Tau Beta Pi. He joined the Armenian Astronomical Society in April 2007.

We congratulate Prof. Petrosian and wish him good health, further achievements, and prosperity.