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Summer School in Armenia

This message is posted by
Dr. Gabriel Ohanian
Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory
Byurakan 378433, Aragatsotn province,
Republic of Armenia
E-mail: gohanian@bao.sci.am or school@bao.sci.am


July-September, 2001


A permanent astronomical summer school will be organized in the Byurakan
Observatory from July to September. The duration of one cycle of the
School is 7 or 14 days. 16 persons may participate in the School simultaneously.
Ttree cycles (2x7days + 14 days) per month will be organized. People
older than 15 may participate. Children younger than 15 may participate with an
accompanying person.The official languages of the School are Armenian an

The Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory is situated 30 km away from the
capital of Armenia Yerevan, on the southern slope of Mt. Aragatz, on an
altitude of 1400 m (4300 feet) above sea level.

Six (for 7 day cycle) or 10 ( for 14 day cycle) popular lectures in
different fields, night observations of the starry sky, excursions to the
largest 2.6 m telescope, visits to historical and modern sight seeing,
various cultural events aimed on acquaintance with the national theatre,
musical bands, exhibitions, museums are planned to be organized in frame
of the School program. At the end of each cycle a magnificent farewell party
with participation of interesting people is planned.

School Organising Committee

Prof. Khachikian E., Chairman ekhach@bao.sci.am
Dr. Ohanian G., co-Ordinator gohanian@bao.sci.am
Dr. Balayan S. sbalayan@bao.sci.am
Dr. Broutian G. gbrout@bao.sci.am
Dr. Harutyunian H. hhaik@bao.sci.am
Dr. Mahtessian A. amahtes@bao.sci.am
Dr. Mickaelian A. aregmick@bao.sci.am
Dr. Movsessian T. tigmov@bao.sci.am
Dr. Movsesyan V. vmovses@bao.sci.am


1. History of astronomy and Armenia – G.H.Broutian
2. Armenian calendars – G.H.Broutian
3. The astronomical outlook from ancient astronomy to modern astrophysics – H.V.Pikichian
4. Theoretical principles of cosmic knowledge – H.V.Pikichian
5. Solar system – A.V.Oskanian
6. The world of stars – H.S.Chavushian
7. The world of galaxies – E.Ye.Khachikian
8. Byurakan surveys – A.M.Mickaelian
9. Telescopes. Modern astronomical equipment and automatic reduction of observations – T.H.Movsessian
10. Modern communication tools – V.H.Movsissian
11. Space flights and human progress – A.E.Grigorian
12. The Universe in different wavelengths. Radiotelescopes – G.A.Ohanian
13. What is the Universe we live in? – H.A.Harutyunian
14. Instability phenomena as a basis for evolution of cosmic objects – H.A.Harutyunian
15. Extraterrestrial civilizations – A.M.Mickaelian


The goal of the School is the acquaintance of participants with
achievements of modern astronomy. Due to this they will get acquainted
with the history of astronomy, as well as with its modern understanding,
including the following:
– what was the understanding of night sky, cosmic objects and structure of the Universe in the past, and what is it today;
– how the Universe is studied;
– what investigations are carried out and what instruments are used.

During 7 or 14 days spent in Byurakan, the participants will listen
interesting and informative lectures on Sun and planets, comets,
meteorits, stars and galaxies. They will achieve an understanding of various forms
of matter in the Universe, learn how the stars and stellar systems are born,
how they live and die. These lectures will be presented by the leading
scientists of the Byurakan Observatory. All the lectures are available
both in Armenian and in English. The time for questions and answers will be
organized separately, too, and the participants will get answers to
astronomical questions that interest them during these lectures.
Each participant will get the whole program for 7 or 14 days just at
the beginning, and may have information on topics of lectures and night
observations, as well as timetable of breakfast, lunch and dinner, days
of excursions and other necessary items.

During the days spent in the Observatory the participants of the
School will get acquainted with interesting people, conversations with
whom will enrich their knowledge, extend their world outlook.


The participants will stay in the Byurakan Observatory hotel. 7
apartments are allocated for this purpose, including 2 double-room
apartments for 3 persons and 5 single-room apartments for 2 persons. Each
room has its sanitary section with hot water. The hotel has a separate
room for rest, where one may play table games, watch TV. There is also table
tennis in the hotel. The participants of the school may use the Internet.
The hotel has one kitchen and dining-room. The meals will be served
in the hotel. The menu includes meals of Armenian cuisine and Armenian
fruits and vegetables. The participants may taste also Armenian matzun
(yogurt), different sweets, fruit juices.


The participation fee includes accomodation (including breakfast),
meals, lectures,excursions, registration fee, night observations

The fee for each participant is USD 700 for 14 days or USD 380 for 7 days
or equivalent Armenian drams (today, 05.05.00, 1 USD = 550 AMD).


Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory
Byurakan 378433, Aragatsotn province,
Republic of Armenia
Tel : 3742 283261
E-mail: school@bao.sci.am
Web page: http://bao.sci.am/school


Each person who wishes to participate in the School may pre-register
either in the first, second or third cyclles of July, August or
September. The registration form is presented below. Except that, registration may
be performed by direct contact with Dr. Gabriel Ohanian, e mail address gohanian@bao.sci.am or
school@bao.sci.am As the number of rooms is limited, the registration will be made by
application order. Those who apply for registration earlier, will have

The registration fee is equal to USD 30. The registration fee
includes the organizational expenses of the School, reception party,
transportation of participants from the airport to Byurakan and back.

Date of birth:
Sex Male Female
Postal address:

The deadline for registration is one month before
the beginning of the corresponding cycle.
I would like to participate in the school on:
1-7 July 1-7 August 1-7 September
9-15 July 9-15 August 9-15 September
17-30 July 17-30 August 17-30 September
I would like to share the room with:
Other relevant information:
Please indicate if your attendance is:
Highly Probable Probable


( a short historical essay )

The Armenian Highland is one of the oldest cradles of the human
civilization. In this extended mountainous country with some 400,000 sq.
km area, since ancient times there were numerous State formations. The most
ancient of them, still eyewitnessed in 28-27 centuries B.C. by Sumers,
was called Aratta. Different Armenian State formations existed there in
different centuries: Hayasa, Nayiri, Ararat (Urartu), Major Armenia,
Tzopq, Minor Armenia, Komagueneh, numerous medieval small and large Armenian
kingdoms. Today, there are two Armenian States in some 1/12 part of this
territory: Republic of Armenia and Republic of Mountainous Gharabagh.
Many thousands of cultural monuments have been preserved in the territory of
Armenia and Mountainous Gharabagh: from stone-age buildings to medieval
temples, fortresses and other magnificent creations. Armenia is a
Christian country. The Armenian apostolic church is founded by the apostles
Thaddeus and Bartholomew, and the Christianity in Armenia was introduced as a
State religion in the end of 3-rd century (before 301 A.D).

Ararat valley was one of the most important ancient
spiritual-cultural centres of Armenian Highland: the administrative,
spiritual, cultural and scientific centres of Republic of Armenia are
situated there till today. Numerous monuments of ancient Armenian culture
have been found in Ararat valley and its environmental mountains.
People Ashtarak, Karmravor st. have been engaged in metallurgy, Astvatsatsin, VII cent.
developed sciences some 4-5 thousand years ago. In the beginning of the
20th century some European scientists found that just in this area in the foot
of Masis (Ararat), 4800 years ago the known division of night sky
to constellations has come to its final form.

The Byurakan Observatory is situated on the southern slope of Mount Aragatz, 1400 m
(4300 feet) above sea level and it is 35 km far from the capital Yerevan. It is one of
the most ancient cultural centers of the Armenian Highland. Aragatz is one of three
giant mountains which edge the Ararat valley (the others are Geghama Mountains and
snowed-peak Masis and Sis). Village Byurakan is one of the ancient Armenian settlements.
Anberd, st. Numerous valuable monuments of Armenian Astvatsatsin, 1026. medieval culture are preserved in Byurakan
and its environments. St. Hovhannes church built in 4-5 centuries stands in the centre
of the village, and Artavazik chapel is at the eastern edge of the village, built in the
10th century by Catolicos-historiographer Hovhannes Draskhanakerttsi. He was the person
who once bought the Byurakan village and built a small fortress around the church.
The mausoleum of Armenian Arshakouni kings, built in 364 by Armenian sparapet
(military leader) Vasak Mamikonian is in front of Byurakan, in historical Aghts
village. Close to it is famous Tegher St. Astvatzatzin monastery, with standing
buildings since 1213. Not far from Tegher there is famous Amberd fortress. In 10-11
centuries it was a well-built settlement and one of the important military strong points Ohanavank, V-XIII cent.
of the Armenian Bagratouni kings. Here in (before reconstruction) 1026, probably with the help of Trdat
architect, prince Vahram Pahlavouni has built the St. Astvatzatzin church. East of
Byurakan, in Pharpi valley, near the village Lazrevan, there is the grave of
historiographer of the 5th century Lazar Pharpetsi; village Oshakan, where the grave
of St. Mesrop Mashtots is, is to the South. Here, under the altar built in the
5th century, is buried the the author of the wonderful invention of Armenian alphabet,
Armenian greatest teacher. In front of the church, there is the grave of Byzantine
emperor Mauricos’ mother with a monument built in the 6th-7th centuries (according to
a legend it is just the grave of emperor Saghmosavank, XIII Mavrikos, who was born in Oshakan). Twenty
cent. kilometers from Byurakan, under Aragatz peaks, there is the Lake Kari (Stony Lake).
Ice-floes swim on its surface even in the warmest days of the year. This is an
artificial storage lake built still in stone-age, which has served thousands of
years for irrigation of lands of Southern slopes and foot of Aragatz.
It is 12 km from Byurakan to the province centre Ashtarak town. Here on the
wall of church Tziranavor of the 5th century one can read inscription of king Gagik of
Ani, and a little beyond there is the Karmravor St. Astvatzatzin church, with
preserved till today tile cover built in the 7th century. A little North from Ashtarak
there is Moughni with its famous St. Gevorg church. According to a legend, St. Gevorgs Moughny, st. Gevorg,
grave is there in this church. A little XVII cent. North, at the edge of the valley of river
Qasakh there are two famous monasteries: Ohanavank and Saghmosavank, which have been
important medieval scientific centres. Valuable manuscripts created in the schools
of these monasteries are kept in the Yerevan Mashtots Matenadaran (museum of ancient

Today in Byurakan and its environment, there are the famous modern
scientific centres: Cosmic Rays High-mountain Station under the peaks of
Aragatz, The Institute of Radiometric Standards, and the Byurakan Observatory.
The Byurakan Observatory was founded in 1946 by Victor Ambartsumian. Just 10-20
years after its foundation the Byurakan Byurakan, st. Hovhanness, Observatory became a scientific centre of
IV-V cent. international recognition and highest prestige. Today, the visitors of Byurakan
Observatory can acquaint with the life of the scientific centre, see the telescopes
(including the 2.6 m telescope), in case of good weather observe with a telescope the
wonders of sky, and visit Victor Ambartsumians Museum, founded in home where
this famous scientist lived.

The Armenian Students’ Association of The University of Toronto
33 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5S 2E3
(416).889.9897 http://asa.sa.utoronto.ca asa@campuslife.utoronto.ca

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