Magnetic Stars


The Observatory

The Special Astrophysical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences is situated in the western part of North Caucasus, in the Karachay–Cherkess Republic of Russia. The Observatory campus is located in a small settlement Nizhnij Arkhyz most of the times reffered as “Bukovo” by locals because of the beech trees (“buk” in Russian) growing all over. The place is located in a valley of river Big Zelenchuk at a height of 1300m above the sea level and in 25km from Cossack village Zelenchukskaya. The campus is comprised of an administrative building with a library and scientific laboratories, a computer center, a hotel and accommodation units.

The observational site of the Observatory is 17km away from the campus and is located near mountain Pastuhova at a height of 2100m. The site consists of the largest in Europe telescope with 6-m mirror (the Big Telescope Azimuthal, BTA) and several smaller telescopes. In 25km from Nizhnij Arkhyz, radio telescope RATAN-600 is located. RATAN-600 is a 600-m diameter array with a variable structure of the reflecting surface. It is the largest tool in the world within this class of radio telescopes. Located between RATAN-600 and Bukovo a parabolic, 32m in diameter, radio telescope belongs to St. Petersburg Institute of Applied Astronomy.


It is possible to reach Nizhnij Arkhyz only by automobile transport. Highways connect it with Krasnodar (320km), Nevinnomyssk (130km), Stavropol (210km), Cherkessk (100km) and Mineralye Vody (200km). There are railway stations in the listed cities. The nearest airport is Mineralnye Vody. For delivery and departure of the conference participants from/to airport and railway stations SAO RAS organizes automobile transfer.


The settlement of astronomers is located in a picturesque place, in beech tree woods. An ancient town is in 3km from the settlement with the temples of 10th century, which are the most ancient Christian monuments in Russia. Nizhnij Arkhyz is neighbourhood with well-known tourist and mountaineering places Arkhyz, Dombay, and Teberda.