Press Releases

NASA Includes Armenia’s Cosmic Ray Stations on its Observatory List

Sossi Essajanian
Armenian Weekly, Boston MA
March 14, 2005

Aragats Space Environmental Center observatory of the Cosmic Ray Division of Alikhanian Physics Institute (10,500 ft. elevation)

STANDFORD, CA-In 1957, a program of international research collaboration was organized to study effects of global phenomena of the earth known as the International Geophysical Year (IGY-57). Fifty years later, the world's science community will again come together for an international program of scientific collaboration called the International Heliophysical Year (IHY-2007). This time, research will extend out into the heliosphere to focus on solar-terrestrial interactions.

In preparation for the IHY-2007, NASA has founded a collaboration of international spacecraft and observatories that conduct solar research. The first step of this collaboration is to display the participating observatories and their internet links on the NASA Internet site. In particular, the Aragats Space Environmental Center of the Cosmic Ray Division (CRD) of the Alikhanian Physics Institute in Armenia is listed second on that site. The Aragats observatory has ground based detectors at 10,500 ft. and 6,500 ft. elevation on Mt. Aragats in Armenia.

Stanford University accelerator physicist Anahid Yeremian works closely with the scientists of the Cosmic Ray Division in Armenia, particularly with the head of the division, Professor Ashot Chilingarian. "The Aragats Space Environmental Center being on NASA's Web site for IHY-07 international observatories means that NASA, the world-leader in space research, values the work of the Cosmic Ray Division in Armenia and considers it a key ingredient in the international scientific cooperation to understand how our solar system effect important phenomenon on earth."

The CRD of the Alikhanian Physics Institute in Armenia conducts state of the art research on Space Weather phenomena on its two high altitude stations on Mt. Aragats. As its visionary head, Chilingarian is among the world leaders in this field. Armenia ranks among the top five countries in the world in Cosmic Ray Research along side with the United States, Russia, Germany, and Japan.

Cosmic ray research at the high altitude station on Mt. Aragats was initiated by Alikhanyn brothers in 1943. Since then, research at the CRD has been carried out at two high-altitude stations on Mt. Aragats as well as the headquarters in YerPhi in Yerevan.

The Aragats Space Environmental Center, established in 1999, combines solar activity monitoring with online data accessibility. It promises valuable insight into the mechanisms of ion acceleration on the sun. Results of the current research will enable CRD to use the online data analysis and forecasting capabilities to execute alerts and warnings about severe radiation storms. These early warnings can be valuable for protecting satellites, personnel in space, as well as ground based systems such as power grids and pipelines.

For more information about the Cosmic Ray Division, visit

For more information about IHY-2007, visit and click on "View Participating Observatories List" and scroll down to the second entry on the "Spacecraft and Observatory" list.


Copyright © 2012 SCACRD - All rights reserved.