Official Press-Release of Viktor Ambartsumian International Prize Steering Committee, 18.07.2014, Yerevan, Armenia


Viktor Ambartsumian International Prize 2014 goes to Felix AHARONIAN (Ireland/Germany) and jointly to Igor KARACHENTSEV (Russia) and Brent TULLY (USA)

Viktor Ambartsumian International Prize has been established by the President of Armenia in 2009 and at present is one of the important awards in astronomy/astrophysics and related sciences. It is being awarded to outstanding scientists from any country and nationality having significant contribu-tion in science. The Prize totals USD 500,000 and since 2010 is being awarded once every two years.

The International Steering Committee (ISC) consists of 9 outstanding scientists: Radik Martirosyan (President of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences, Armenia, Chair), Gennady Bisnovatyi-Kogan (Russia), Catherine Cesarsky (Past IAU President, France), Norio Kaifu (IAU President, Japan), Michel Mayor (Switzerland), Vahe Petrosian (USA), Martin Rees (UK), Yervant Terzian (USA), and Robert Williams (Past IAU President, USA).

March 18 was the deadline for nominations, and ISC received nominations from national academies of sciences, universities, and observatories for 7 outstanding scientists and teams from different countries. After a thorough study of the nominated works, as well as independent referees’ reports, the Committee had several discussions and finally it was decided to share the Prize between

Prof. Felix Aharonian (Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, Ireland and Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics, Heidelberg, Germany), nominated by Academia Nazionale Dei Lincei (Italy) for “outstanding contributions to the field of high energy astrophysics and to the physics of cosmic accelerators, and leading role in the development of the stereoscopic system of Cherenkov telescopes” and

Prof. Igor Karachentsev (Special Astrophysical Observatory, Russia) and Prof. Brent Tully (Institute of Astronomy, University of Hawaii, USA) nominated by the Special Astrophysical Observatory (Russia) for “their fundamental contribution in the cosmology of the Local Universe”.

The Prize will be shared between these two nominations, namely Prof. Aharonian will receive USD 250,000, Prof. Karachentsev and Prof. Tully will receive USD 125,000 each.

Previous winners were:

2010 Michel Mayor (Obs. de Genève, Switzerland), Garik Israelian (Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, Spain), Nuno Santos (Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto, Portugal)

2012 Jaan Einasto (Tartu Observatory, Estonia) and Igor Novikov (Astro-Space Center, P. N. Lebedev Physics Institute, Russia)

The winners of Viktor Ambartsumian International Prize 2014 were announced at the press-conference held at the Armenian National Academy of Sciences on Saturday, July 18. The official award ceremony will take place on September 17 in Yerevan.