GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT SHAMAKHY ASTROPHYSICAL OBSERVATORY
"The Shamakhy Astrophysical Observatory has a very long history. Worldwide, it has a great influence in the world of science. I am very glad to see the reconstruction of this observatory and the wonderful conditions here. ... I am sure that this observatory will serve the people of Azerbaijan and Azerbaijani science for decades, decades later"
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan
Nasreddin Tusi Shamakhy Astrophysical Observatory of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences was established in 1960 by the decision of the Council of Ministers of the USSR. However, the history of scientific research in the field of astrophysics goes back to previous years. In 1927 a permanently operating astronomical expedition was created to study Astro climate in some regions of Azerbaijan. The expedition had to choose the favorable geographical location for the observatory in Kalbajar, Lachin, Shamakhy, Khizi and other regions of the republic. As a result of the investigations it was found out that, the Pirgulu region of Shamakhi is the most suitable place for the creation of a scientific center in this direction, and in 1953, it was decided to build an observation base and later an observatory. The Center is part of the Astrophysics Department (1954), then the Astrophysics Sector of the Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan (ASA) (1956), within the ASA Institute of Physics and Mathematics. In addition to astronomical observations in 1953-59, the future design of the observatory, the training of specialists in the field of astronomy, telescope and equipment supply, the structure of the observatory, etc. serious work was underway on the issues. In 1957, the first telescope was installed at the Pirgulu Astronomical Station (Chromosfer-Photosphere Solar Telescope). In 1959, the issue of studying the astrocyclicity of the area was solved by launching a 200-mm photoelectric telescope.
The Center has been incorporated into the ASA as an independent research institute since 1960. The observatory created on the initiative of prominent Azerbaijani scientists Hasan Aliyev and Yusif Mammadaliyev is located in the north-east of the Great Caucasus Mountains, 150 km from Baku in the South Caucasus. Located at a distance (On the eastern slope of Pirqulu, the height 1500 m, the geographical coordinates 48035`04" E / 400 46`20"N). Here, the number of clear lightly nights reaches 190-200 per year.
The first director of Shamakhy Astrophysics Observatory, academician Hajibey Sultanov (1960-1981). The academy has great services in the establishment and development of the observatory.
A two-meter telescope (produced by Carl Seyss of the German Democratic Republic), which was commissioned in September 1966, has a particular importance for the Shamakhy Astrophysics Observatory. A special role was played by the former President of the ASA, academician Yusif Mammadaliyev and vice-president of the Academy, national poet Samad Vurgun in the purchase and operation of this popular optical telescope, which is the flag of Azerbaijan's experimental science. In addition, the Observatory has launched a horizontal solar telescope (1962), AST-452 telescope (1964), AZT-8 telescope (1970) and “Seyss 600” (1980) telescope.
Astrophysical observations were organized intensively in the Shamakhy Observatory in 1960-1980. In those years, great attention was paid to the preparation of personnel in the country in the field of astrophysics. To this end, in 1976 at the special order of national leader Heydar Aliyev at the Azerbaijan State University was founded the Astrophysics department. To date, this department plays an important role in the training of qualified cadres. In 1981, by the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers, Shamakhi Astrophysical Observatory was named after Nasreddin Tusi, the great astronomer of Azerbaijan. The Batabat Section of the SARS (1973) and the Aghdara Astronomical Station (1997) (Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic) were established under the Observatory. It should be noted that the station has been operating as an independent observatory within the Nakhchivan Branch of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences since 2002.
The Baku Branch of the Shamakhy Astrophysics Observatory plays an important role in the coordination of the observatory's activities and the establishment of mutual relations with other structures of ANAS. The Astronomy Museum also operates in the Observatory. The museum plays an important role in promoting the observatory and its astronomy as a whole.
For achievements in astronomy in Azerbaijan, the International Astronomical Union named the asteroids found in 1970-2011 as "Azerbaijan", "ShAO", "Nizami", "Javid", "Muslim Magomayev", "Tusi" and "Ayyubguliev". On the Mercury planet, a crater was called “Nizami”, the crater on Mars was called “Nadir Ibrahimov”, the deceased employee of the “SHAR”, and a crater on the moon was named Nasreddin Tusi. At present, 13 of the names given to small celestial bodies, as well as to the crater of planets, are related to Azerbaijan. All this, undoubtedly, is an indication of the success of astronomy in Azerbaijan.
Reconstruction works were carried out in Shamakhy Astrophysical Observatory named after N. Tusi in 2009-2013 on the basis of relevant orders of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mr. Ilham Aliyev. As a result of the attention and care shown by Mr. President to the Azerbaijani science, the living room of the observatory was completely renovated, its main corpus was renovated (a new astronomy museum, a large conference hall, etc.), a new laboratory building was built and telescopes were renovated, auxiliary facilities (dining-room, boiler-room, substation, etc.) were commissioned and large-scale landscaping works were implemented. New communication lines (gas, water, electricity, telephone, etc.) that meet modern standards have been created, and the double-telescope has been fully automated and modernized.
B-240 vacuum unit for aluminization of astronomical mirrors surface was restored in 2007. A special building was built and put into operation. For the first time in the history of the SHAO in 2013, the process of aluminizing the mirrors was carried out by local experts. The existence of this unique device allows the Shamakhy Astrophysics Observatory not only to open its mirrors, but also to regularly cover the aluminum layer in the mirrors of the regional observatories.
Scientific research in the Observatory is based on two aspects of the "Dynamics and Physics of Scientists": "Comprehensive Study of Physical Variations in Stars and Nebulae" (the study of non-stationary processes occurring in celestial bodies and their nature) and "Solar Physics, system physics and dynamics of bodies" (Dynamics and Physics of Active Structures in Solar Atmosphere, Solar-Earth Relations, Exploration of Planet Atmospheres and Their Satellites, Comet, Asteroid, Solar System Physics, Their Structure, Physics and Evolution). In addition, the history of astronomy, theoretical studies, radioastronomy, ionosphere synthesis of high-frequency radio signals and their dependence on different cosmic air factors (solar activity, magnetic storms, etc.) and other studies are being conducted on the problems.
More than 100 monographs, textbooks, textbooks, catalogs and scientific-mass books were published by astronomers during the activity of the Observatory. The journal, "ShAO's Circus", has a history of 40 years. Since 2006, the "Azerbaijan Astronomy Journal" has been published. Along with this, the Observatory also closely participates in the publication of the international journal "Sun and Geosphere" in English. Over the course of the existence of the ShAO, its staff published over 2,500 papers in foreign and local journals.
Scientists and specialists trained at the Shamakhy Astrophysics Observatory successfully continue their activities in many scientific institutions of the world, including the United States, Israel, Ukraine, Russia and Turkey.
A number of international and republican symposiums and conferences were held in Shamakhy Astrophysical Observatory. Among them are congresses of the International Astronautics Federation (1972), conferences dedicated to research of magnetic stars (1973, 1976), Plenum of the USSR SA Astronomical Council (1984), “Tusi-800” Conferences (8 conferences in 1998-2002) “Periodic and Cosmic Problems” (2003), "International Conference dedicated to the 60th Anniversary of the Foundation of the SHAO "(2013) and others.
During the activity of the SHAO, the observatory staff carried out joint work with the foreign astronomers on a number of actual topics. Close cooperation with solar physics and solar-earth problems is being carried out by separate astronomical organizations from Russia, Germany, Israel, Bulgaria, Georgia and other countries. Studies are carried out jointly with the staff of several Russian observatory on the direction of astrophysics (Russian AS XAR, State Astronomical Institute named after Sternberg of Moscow State University, St. Petersburg SU and others). Studies are carried out with astronomers from Russia, Ukraine, Tajikistan and other countries on the study of comets and meteorites. ShAR employees regularly and actively participate in congress, symposium and conferences held in foreign countries, informing world astronomers about the work done in the observatory.