Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory(BAO) was founded in 1946 by a famous physician and academician Victor Hambardzumyan who was the first director of the observatory. It is located on the southern slope of the picturesque mountain Aragats. At the observatory five observational instruments are installed, the larger ones being 2.6 m Cassegrain telescope and 1m Schmidt telescope. Scientific researches of the observatory are related mainly with the instability phenomena taking place in the Universe. Since 1946 numerous scientific meetings were held in Byurakan including four symposia and a colloquium of the IAU.
The architectural ensemble of the observatory comprises of the functional part including the telescope towers, administrative and laboratory buildings, conference hall, guest house, etc. There is also a campus built by the famous Armenian architect Samvel Safarian.
Besides the scientific researches the observatory organizes various excursions and lectures for amateurs.
Since 1998 the Byurakan Observatory bears the name of its founder; V.A. Hambardzumyan.