Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory

The Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (BAO) was founded in 1946 through the initiative of academic, Victor Ambartsumian, who also served as the first director.

​On the slopes of Mt. Aragats, the clean mountain air is an ideal place for space observation, and throughout the years many astral observations have been made. The observatory has discovered special star clusters, stellar associations, over a thousand flare stars, dozens of supernovae, hundreds of Herbig-Haro objects, cometary nebulae and galaxies. At the observatory, five space-observation instruments are still in operation, the largest being a 2.6m Cassegrain reflector telescope, and a 1m Schmidt camera. From 1965 onwards – using the Schmidt telescope, which had the largest full-aperture objective prism in the world – the First Byurakan Survey revealed over 1,500 galaxies with ultraviolet excess. These are now known as Markarian Galaxies, in honor of the great Armenian astronomer, Benjamin Markarian. Since 1946, numerous scientific meetings have been held in the Byurakan campus including four symposia and a colloquium of the IAU. The campus is designed by the famous Armenian architect Samvel Safarian.