Press Release


RA V. Ambartsumian Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (BAO)
Press release 18.12.2019


Gagik Tovmassian is 60

Today we celebrate the 60th anniversary of Gagik Tovmassian, one of the most active and productive Armenian astronomers in the world.

Gagik Tovmassian was born on Dec 18, 1959 in Yerevan. He is the son of the famous Armenian astronomer Hrant Tovmassian. He studied at the Yerevan State University (YSU), Department of Physics in 1976-1981 and started working at the Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (BAO) in 1980. In 1984-1988, he was a post-graduate student at BAO and partly, at the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory. G. Tovmassian took his Ph.D. degree on “Investigation of Cataclysmic Variables” in 1990 under the supervision of Prof. A.A. Boyarchuk. In 1993, Gagik moved to Mexico and worked as a Professor at Computer Systems Department of Universidad De Las Americas Puebla, Mexico (1993-94), post-doc (1994-95), resident astronomer (1995-98), and researcher (Investigador Titular “A” T.C., since 1998) at National Astronomical Observatory of IA UNAM Ensenada, Mexico. In 2000-2004 he was also an adjunct professor at San Diego State University (San Diego, USA) and in 2004- 2005, a visiting researcher at the Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences (UCSD San Diego, USA). Gagik’s main area of research are Cataclysmic Variables (CVs), particularly – magnetic CVs. He has studied a number of ROSAT sources. At present he is actively engaged in studies of short-period CVs, which are at the latest stages of evolution. A long work has been carried out on SBS1150+599A (an object discovered in Byurakan), an extremely oxygen-poor planetary nebula, as well as other similar objects. Some research was also carried out on Shahbazian compact groups of compact galaxies. Though he mainly works on optical observations however, he has obtained observing time and observed with IUE, FUSE, XMM, and Chandra space telescopes, as well as a number of major instruments such as ESO New Technology Telescope (NTT), William Herschel Telescope (WHT), Gemini, Keck, and ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT). As a result, since 1984, Gagik has published 57 papers in all major astronomical refereed journals such as AJ, ApJ, A&A, MNRAS, PASP, Ap&SS, AN, RMxAA, Astron. Reports, Astron. Letters, and Astrofizika, as well as one paper in Nature. Gagik has also published 52 other papers, including in proceedings of international meetings. He was the co-editor (together with E. Sion) of the Proceedings of IAU Colloquium #194 “Compact Binaries in the Galaxy and Beyond” (2004). He has participated in many international conferences and has given several invited talks. Gagik has been teaching astronomy/astrophysics, as well as computation and databases courses in universities of Mexico and at summer schools and has been a thesis director in 2009. He is a member of IAU (1994), "Armenian Engineers and Scientists of America" association (AESA, 1994), and ArAS (2003)․

Our sincerest congratulations to Gagik Tovmassian.

Meline Asryan



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