On 13 October 2015, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) inaugurated the South West Asian OAD Regional Office at the Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (BAO) in Armenia.
The inauguration ceremony included talks from Radik Martirosyan, President of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia; Piero Benvenuti, IAU General Secretary; and Areg Mickaelian, director of the IAU South West Asian Regional Office. The event was attended by ambassadors and representatives from neighbouring countries, in addition to representatives from cultural, scientific and educational communities in South West Asia.
The establishment of this South West Asian regional node is significant as this part of the continent hosts an array of leading astronomical facilities, such as the Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory in Armenia; and the Abastumani Astrophysical Observatory in Georgia. Iran will soon host the Iranian National Observatory, which is currently under construction.
Director, IAU Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD)
Tel: +27 21 460 9350
Cell: +27 82 487 8466
Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory