Grigor Gurzadyan
Grigor Gurzadyan is an Armenian
Armenian people or Armenians are a nation and ethnic group native to the Armenian Highland.The largest concentration is in Armenia having a nearly-homogeneous population with 97.9% or 3,145,354 being ethnic Armenian....

 astronomer, and pioneer of space astronomy.


Gurzadyan was born on October 15, 1922 in Baghdad, to parents who fled in 1915 Western Armenia. Upon graduating the from the Hydrotechnical and Constructional Department of Yerevan Polytechnic Institute
State Engineering University of Armenia
The State Engineering University of Armenia is a technical university located in Yerevan, Armenia. Established as the Yerevan Polytechnic Institute in 1933, it provides educational and research programs in various fields of technology and science related to engineering...

 in 1944, he became the postgraduate of Victor Ambartsumian, who had just moved to Armenia. Being in Ambartsumian’s founding team of Byurakan Observatory
Byurakan Observatory
The Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory, or 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.-History:...

, he later headed a Laboratory, in 1960s became deputy director of the Observatory for space research. Then, he headed the branch of Byurakan observatory on space research, in 1971 he founded and headed the Garni Space Astronomy Laboratory (Institute, 1992–2004).
Member of Armenian National Academy of Sciences (1986; corresponding member 1965), DSci. 1955, PhD 1948.
His son is Vahe Gurzadyan
Vahe Gurzadyan
Vahe Gurzadyan is an Armenian mathematical physicist and a professor at Yerevan Physics Institute best known for co-writing "Concentric circles in WMAP data may provide evidence of violent pre-Big-Bang activity" paper with his colleague Roger Penrose, and colaborating on Roger Penrose's recent book...

 Armenian mathematical physicist and a professor at Yerevan Physics Institute, whose main research topics are: the chaos in non-linear systems, N-body dynamics, stellar dynamics, Cosmic Microwave Background radiation, observational cosmology.


In 1960s and early 1970s he directed the UV and X-ray observations of Sun via Rocket Astrophysical Observatories K-2, K-3 and K-4
Rocket Astrophysical Observatories K-2, K-3 and K-4
Rocket astrophysical observatories launched in Soviet Union in 1960s and early 1970s under the direction of Grigor Gurzadyan of Byurakan Observatory in Armenia, for the study of the Solar ultraviolet and X-ray emission....

 by means of ballistic rockets R-5; the first launch being on February 15, 1961 from Kapustin Yar
Kapustin Yar
Kapustin Yar is a Russian rocket launch and development site in Astrakhan Oblast, between Volgograd and Astrakhan. Known today as Znamensk , it was established 13 May 1946 and in the beginning used technology, material, and scientific support from defeated Germany...

 military base in Russia. His paper in Comm. Armenian Acad. Sciences, XLIII, 28, 1966, “A Powerful X-ray Flare on the Sun” (of October 1, 1965) is on the detection of most powerful Solar X-ray flare observed by then.

Then he moved to design space orbital observatories, both on board automatic probes and manned spacecrafts. Ultraviolet telescope Procyon was on board Kosmos (satellite) 309 in 1969, and X-ray telescope Altair on board Meteor (satellite)
Meteor (satellite)
The Meteor craft are weather observation satellites launched by the USSR. The Meteor satellites were designed to monitor atmospheric and sea-surface temperatures, humidity, radiation, sea ice conditions, snow-cover, and clouds.-Meteor 2-21:...

 1-16 in 1974; both were launched from Plesetsk cosmodrome
Plesetsk Cosmodrome
Plesetsk Cosmodrome is a Russian spaceport, located in Arkhangelsk Oblast, about 800 km north of Moscow and approximately 200 km south of Arkhangelsk.-Overview:...

. The highlight was Orion 2 Space Observatory (see Orion 1 and Orion 2 Space Observatories
Orion 1 and Orion 2 Space Observatories
The Orion 1 Space Observatory and Orion 2 Space Observatory were space observatories installed in spacecraft launched by the space program of the Soviet Union during the 1970s.- Orion 1 :...

), with a wide-angle meniscus telescope of the Cassegrain system, operated on board the spacecraft Soyuz 13
Soyuz 13
Soyuz 13 was a 1973 Soviet manned space flight, the second test flight of the redesigned Soyuz 7K-T spacecraft that first flew as Soyuz 12. The spacecraft was specially modified to carry the Orion 2 Space Observatory...

 in December 1973. Spectra of thousands of stars to as faint as 13th magnitude were obtained, the first satellite UV spectrogram of a planetary nebula
Planetary nebula
A planetary nebula is an emission nebula consisting of an expanding glowing shell of ionized gas ejected during the asymptotic giant branch phase of certain types of stars late in their life...

 (IC 2149
IC 2149
IC 2149 is a planetary nebula in the constellation of Auriga. It is a small, bright planetary nebula with something to offer in telescopes of most sizes....

) was obtained, revealing lines of aluminum and titanium - elements not previously observed in planetary nebulae, two photon emission from nebulae was detected for the first time. For comparison, the Skylab
Skylab was a space station launched and operated by NASA, the space agency of the United States. Skylab orbited the Earth from 1973 to 1979, and included a workshop, a solar observatory, and other systems. It was launched unmanned by a modified Saturn V rocket, with a mass of...

’s UV telescope which was on the orbit at the same time, could only look at stars down to 7.5th magnitude. Two years earlier, in April, 1971, the first space station Salyut 1
Salyut 1
Salyut 1 was the first space station of any kind, launched by the USSR on April 19, 1971. It was launched unmanned using a Proton-K rocket. Its first crew came later in Soyuz 10, but was unable to dock completely; its second crew launched in Soyuz 11 and remained on board for 23 days...

 carried into orbit Orion 1 Space Observatory, the first space telescope with an objective prism.

He predicted magnetic fields in planetary nebulae in 1960s, which were actually discovered in 2005 (Jordan, Werner, O’Toole). He authored theoretical papers on flare stars (predicted negative infrared flares), interstellar matter, binary stars. In 1990s he developed the theory of common chromospheres (roundchromes) of close binary stars and of evolution of binary globular clusters.

For decades he lectured in Yerevan State University
Yerevan State University
Yerevan State University is a university in Yerevan, Armenia. Founded on May 16 1919, it is the largest university in the country with 110 departments. Of its 3,150 employees, 1,190 comprise the teaching staff which includes 25 academicians, 130 professors, 700 docents , and 360 assistant lecturers...

 (theoretical astrophysics, celestial mechanics) and in Yerevan Polytechnic Institute (precise mechanics). He is also known as an original painter and for his essays on philosophy of science
Philosophy of science
The philosophy of science is concerned with the assumptions, foundations, methods and implications of science. It is also concerned with the use and merit of science and sometimes overlaps metaphysics and epistemology by exploring whether scientific results are actually a study of truth...

and art.

External links

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