For many years Armenia had leading positions both in astronomy (Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (BAO), Viktor Ambartsumian, Beniamin Markarian and other Armenian astronomers) and space technology (Grigor Gurzadian, Hrant Tovmasyan). Particularly, Gurzadyan designed, developed and prepared the first Soviet space observatories, “Orion” and “Orion-2”. Soviet cosmonautics training courses were organized in BAO in 1970-1980s. BAO had and now restored the Department of Applied Astronomy. Currently, on a contractual basis with Russian Space Agency “Roscosmos”, BAO participates in a project to monitor the space debris, according to which 3 small telescopes have been installed in BAO Saravand station. It is also worth noting that Virtual Observatories are of great importance in modern astronomy, when research is performed using all telescopes, different times, different modes, and the results of observations at all electromagnetic waves. The Armenian Virtual Observatory (ArVO) is part of the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA) and also participates in the International Planetary Data Alliance (IPDA), where space agencies of the major countries are members.

The Regional Astronomical Summer School aims at attracting beginner astronomers and related MSc and PhD students to the field of scientific research, teaching the principles of scientific work. Thanks to these, BAO plays a leading role in this region and offers opportunities for young people in the region to participate in high-level lectures and practical courses as there are not many opportunities for participating in European and American schools. Students in the region also have a wide range of opportunities to communicate, to make new acquaintances, which is very useful for their further advancement.

In the present era of the development of space science and technologies, there is a great lack of specialists. That is why an attempt is made to involve foreign specialists in Armenia and in the region.

The Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (BAO) is one of the main observational centers of the former Soviet Union and is an important observatory with modern facilities in the region. It was founded in 1946 by one of the greatest astrophysicists of the 20th century V. A. Ambartsumian and is well known for its large spectroscopic surveys: First and Second Byurakan Surveys (FBS and SBS), undertaken by B. E. Markarian and his colleagues. BAO hosts a number of medium-size optical telescopes, the most important being the 2.6m classical telescope and 1m Schmidt telescope. BAO holds the Digitized First Byurakan Survey (DFBS, or the Digitized Markarian survey), containing low-dispersion spectra of ~20,000,000 objects, largest number in the world, which is the basis of the Armenian Virtual Observatory (ArVO), a member of the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA).

BAO is famous for its Summer Schools. There is a series of Byurakan International Summer Schools (BISS) that started in 2006 and already 6 such schools have been organized in 2006, 2008, 2010 (combined with IAU International School for Young Astronomers, ISYA), 2012, 2016 and 2018. Another series of local Byurakan Summer Schools (BSS) is for the Yerevan State University (YSU) and other Armenian universities students. The Regional Schools are related to the IAU South West and Central Asian Regional Office of Astronomy for Development (SWCA ROAD) hosted by Armenia since 2015. We also organize conferences for young astronomers.

All local expenses will be covered by the organizers. We also offer a limited number of travel grants for students from South West and Central Asian Region (Georgia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkey) and few more grants to other nationality students from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, etc. English is the working language of the school.

During the next week after the school, 9-13 Sep 2019, an International Conference “Active Galaxies and Quasars” will take place dedicated to M. A. Arakelian’s 90th anniversary, combined with the IAU South West and Central Asian 3rd Regional Astronomical Workshop. Selected students will have possibility to take part in theses events as well. Please mark the corresponding button showing your interest in the registration form.