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Michel Mayor: Armenia should develop astrobiology


Michel Mayor
Michel Mayor

Photo: http://www.trbimg.com


Yerevan/Mediamax/. Discoverer of the first extrasolar planet, Professor Michel Mayor is currently visiting Armenia.

On May 31, he will conduct a public lecture at the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia, to be followed by the first ever workshop “Extrasolar planets and astrobiology” in Armenia.

Prof. Mayor met with journalists on May 30, ahead of the lecture, and shared his happiness from the fourth visit to Armenia.

“I first came to Armenia 10 years ago and started discussions and partnerships. Byurakan Observatory was always famous thanks to Victor Hambardzumyan, but life goes on and relevant scientific issues change.

The high level of astronomy in Armenia has been well-known in studies of active galaxies, star evolution, cosmology, and theoretical astrophysics. The objective now is for Armenian astronomers to manage to learn new, developing areas, and work in them. A very relevant issue today is that of extrasolar planets, so it would be good if we cooperate in that area,” Michel Mayor said.

The astrophysicist believes there are two areas for collaboration. According to him, first they need to get acquired with Armenia’s technical capacities and find possible methods for the country to conduct exoplanet search. Another way of cooperation, as Prof. Mayor sees it, should be trying to develop astrobiology in Armenia via collaboration of astronomers and biologists.

Michel Mayor participated in the Joint European and National Astronomy Meeting that took place in 2007in Armenia. In 2010, he was awarded Victor Hambardzumyan International Prize together with Garik Israelian and Nunu Santos. Michel Mayor is a member of the Board of Trustees of Victor Hambardzumyan Education Foundation, Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory International Science Advisory Committee, and Armenian Astronomical Society.

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