SAO-BNO Conference 2018

International Conference

The multi-messenger astronomy:
gamma-ray bursts, search for electromagnetic counterparts to neutrino events and gravitational waves

7-14 October 2018.     Nizhnij Arkhyz (SAO) and Terskol (BNO)

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Home page
Fee and accomodation



SAO main page
Special Astrophysical Observatory of RAS

BNO page
Baksan Neutrino Observatory of INR RAS

Special Astrophysical Observatory of Russian Academy of Sceinces (SAO (RAS) is in the west of the North Caucasus, in Karachai-Cherkessian Republic. Its optical telescopes – the Europe's largest telescope of the mirror diameter 6 m BTA (Big Telescope Azimuthal) , and the small telescopes of the mirror diameter 1 m (Zeiss-1000) and 0.6 m (Zeiss-600) – are at the altitude 2100 m above sea level 17 km away from the settlement Nizhnij Arkhyz. Another observational instrument – RATAN-600 is 25 km away from Nizhnij Arkhyz at the southern outskirts of Zelenchukskaya. This is a radio telescope with a variable-profile antenna 600 m in diameter.

SAO staff members live in the settlement Nizhnij Arkhyz at a distance of 25 km to the southward of stanitsa Zelenchukskaya. The settlement is in the beech forest in the Bolshoi Zelenchuk river valley at 1300 m above sea level. At 2 km from the settlement there is the Nizhny-Arkhyz archaeological, historical and architectural reserve including the site of ancient medieval alan settlement and the Christian temples of the 10th century - the earliest orthodox temples on the territory of the Russian Federation. 25 km up to the Bolshoi Zelenchuk vally there is one of the Caucasus centers of mountain tourism and climbing – Arkhyz.

Baksan Neutrino Observatory (BNO) is a structural unit of the Institute for Nuclear Research of Russian Academy of Sciences. BNO is in the Baksan Gorge near the Elbrus mountain at a distance of 38 km from Tyrnyauz city, Kabarda-Balkar Republic.

BNO instruments:

  • The Baksan Underground Scintillation Telescope (BUST) with a volume of 3000 cubic centimeters at a depth of more 300 m.
  • The mountainous plant ANDYRCHI to register wide air showers located over BUST on the area 5x104 square metres.
  • The complex of surface plants KOVER including a large muon detector, a scintillation telescope and a neutrino monitor meant for studying the hard component of cosmic rays and wide air showers.
  • The undergound laboratory of the Gallium-Germanium Neutrino Telescope (GGNT) for detecting solar neutrinos with a target of 60 tons of metallic gallium located at a distance of 3.5 km from entrance to the tunnel. Besides, there are low-background laboratories at the depths 100, 600 and 4800 meters deep into mountain.

BNO staff members live in the settlement Neutrino 22 km away from Tyrnyauz.

The climat is relatively mild. Usually, September is the best season in mountains. As a rule, the weather is warm and dry. In daytime the temperature is +22-25. The diagram of thermal variations in Nizhnij Arkhys can be seen here. It is better to inquire about weather forecast for Zelenchukskaya or Karachaevsk.

How to get SAO and BNO
  • Plane. Our nearest airport is Mineral Waters. The are several flights per day from Moscow, StPetersburg and other big cities. The main problem for newcomers is the absence of direct bus service to Nizhnij Arkhyz. You have to make several changes.
  • Train. The SAO's nearest railway station is Nevinnomyssk.
  • Car from the nearest railway station and airport. The distance to Nizhnij Arkhyz from Nevinnomyssk is 130 km, Stavropol - 200 km, Cherkessk - 100 km and Mineral Waters - 210 km.

    The Local Org. Committee will provide the transfer from Mineral Waters to SAO (Nizhnij Arkhyz), then from SAO to BNO (Terskol) and then to Mineral Waters airport.

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