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The 40th anniversary of putting the 6-m BTA telescope into operation

On February 4, 2016, the Jubilee conference dedicated to the 40th anniversary of the first observations on the 6-m BTA telescope took place at SAO RAS. The conference was opened by Valery V.Vlasyuk, the director of SAO RAS. Then the veteran astrophysicist Yury V.Glagolevsky spoke about the expeditions organized to find a site for building the 6-m telescope, in which he participated. Afterwards, Igor D.Karachentsev shared his memories of the first observations at the BTA. Iosif I.Romanyuk remembered of the meetings with Bagrat I.Ioannisiani, the chief engineer of the telescope, and Ivan M.Kopylov, the first director of the observatory. The head of the laboratory of spectroscopy and photometry of extragalactic objects Sergey N.Dodonov spoke about the construction of the first scientific instruments for observations at BTA and about the cooperation with French colleagues headed by academician Georges Courtes. Nikolay A.Tikhonov talked about the investigations carried out with the main BTA mirror. Victor L.Afanasiev presented an informative report on the stages of development of spectroscopy methods for faint objects with the BTA. Yury Yu.Balega recalled how the speckle interferometry methods had been implemented at SAO RAS. One of the first SAO RAS astronomers Eugene L.Chentsov outlined the first steps of stellar spectroscopy at BTA and Vladimir E.Panchuk in detail described the instruments and stellar spectroscopy technique at the 6-m telescope. The representative of the younger generation, the head of extragalactic astrophysics and cosmology laboratory Dmitry I.Makarov spoke about the investigations of the Local Universe at SAO RAS. Simon A.Pustilnik presented the results of the long-term studies of the evolution of dwarf galaxies. The senior researcher of the laboratory of stellar physics Elena A.Barsukova being a practice student of the Moscow State University conducted her first observations at SAO in 1972. She shared touching memories about her scientific supervisors - the oldest scientists of SAO and told the history of the study of X-ray and optical transients. Vladimir L.Plokhotnichenko, the senior researcher of the relativistic astrophysics group, reminded how the "MANIA" experiment started.

The conference ended with the discussion.

On December 30, 1975, the State Interdepartmental commission signed the certificate of acceptance of the Big Altazimuth Telescope (BTA), the telescope began science observations and saw "first light".

During 40 years, the staff of the observatory keep the BTA operational, create and develop removable equipment and radiation receivers. This year, the 6-m mirror was aluminized, for the first time, by our workers only. The observatory staff obtain observational material both within their own programs and the programs of external users. Based on the observations carried out with the BTA, a number of outstanding results have been obtained, which are marked by the Russian Academy of Sciences, various awards and world astronomical community. The observatory staff apply a lot of energy and effort to upgrade the telescope and owing to this, the telescope stays a modern astronomical tool up to this date.
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Last update: 20/02/2016