Byurakan Observatory

Byurakan Observatory on the slope of Mount Aragats. Photo:

The Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (Byurakan Observatory) is an astronomical observatory owned and operated by the Armenian Academy of Sciences. It is located on the slope of Mount Aragats in the village of Byurakan in Armenia.

Founded in 1946 by Viktor Hambardzumyan, it was one of the main astronomycenters of the USSR. The buildings were designed by architect Samvel Safarian. The hotel, central building and structures for astronomical instruments. The observatory has discovered special star clusters – stellar associations (1947),  more than 1,000 flare stars, dozens of Supernovae, hundreds of Herbig-Haro objects and cometary nebulae, hundreds of galaxies. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, the observatory fell into hard times.