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The Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory was founded in 1946 by the renowned Victor Hambartsumian. For many years this observatory, which is located at an altitutde of 1,500 m/5,000 ft in Armenia on the slope of Mount Aragats, was a major center of astronomy in the Soviet Union. The main scientific instruments at the observatory are: a 2.6m Cassegrain reflector telescope, 1m and 0.5m Schmidt telescopes, a few other telescopes of 40-60 cm size, and many other astronomical instruments. Many important discoveries have been made at Byurakan throughout the years, including the discovery of stellar associations in 1947, the hypothesis about activity of galactic nuclei by Hambartsumian in 1958, and the discovery and study of many Seyfert galaxies and quasars, discovery of more than 1000 flare stars, dozens of Supernovae, hundreds of Herbig-Haro objects and cometary nebulae, and valuable works in the field of radiative transfer theory. Due to the collapse of the Soviet Union, the observatory endured difficult times. It is currently owned and operated by Armenian Academy of Sciences. The Byurakan astronomers collaborate with scientists of France, Germany, Italy, UK, Spain, Russia, USA, Mexico, Japan, China, India, and other countries. Recently, they have started offering tours, as well. [SOURCE:]

Aperture: 2.6 meters   Latitude: 40 20 N
First light: 1947 Longitude: 44 17 E
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Elevation: 1405 meters