|here i'm actually outside (on the balcony) the biggest (2.6 m) telescope
We learnt some amazing facts (Gayane Mirzoyan has outlined some of them in her blog (Russian) about the observatory, the telescopes etc. Here's my pick:
- When first installed in 1976, the 2.6m telescope was the 7th in the world, now it's 45th...
- Couple of years ago a small observatory was set up for educational purposes in Stepanakert, Artsakh Republic.
- A number of international astronomic conferences were held in Armenia throughout these years,
- In 1964 and 1971 conferences on extraterrestrial civilizations were held in Byurakan Observatory. The meeting of 1971 was the first international symposium on the problem of Extraterrestrial Civilizations and Communication with Them. Many prominent scientists, including astronomers, physicists, chemists, biologists, philosophers, and specialists of other related fields participated in the symposium.
- Victor Ambartsumyan has been promoting Armenian language within the science academy institutions and in his will he even wrote that "everybody, regardless the percentage of Armenian genes in their blood, should study and master the Armenian language" (source in Armenian).
|Areg Mickaelian, Leading Scientist and Head of research group at the BAO
|Hayk Harutyunyan, director of the BAO
There were also talks about astronomy and astrology (turns out even some journalists didn't know the difference!).. For those who don't know me well -- I absolutely hate everything connected with astrology and get frustrated to hear people confusing it with astronomy!
Here are some pics from the Ambartsumyan's worplace:
|Victor Ambartsumyan's desk
|the amazing portrait by my former colleague William
|After the presentations we had a tour in Ambartsumyan's house, which is now a museum. Then we went to see the pride of the observatory - the 2.6m telescope. I've been there couple of times by night and never seen it in the daylight. Turns out it was possible to get out to the balcony.
|me and Gayane, to whom I am grateful for learning about the press tour
|the group of the press tour
This week I watched The Contact again. I have almost forgotten how I loved that movie. And the next day I read in the news that SETI suspends its search for alien life :(
.. and I just finished translating the first Armenian TED speaker - Garik Israelian's talk about the spectroscopy and search for extraterrestrial life. Soon the Armenian subtitles will be published here. Here's the talk: