Iran’s First Female Astronomer and Astrophysicist

Saturday, March 31, 2018 - 18:51

Dr. Alenush Terian, “mother of Iranian astronomy,” and was one of the founders of the solar observatory at the Institute of Geophysics at the University of Tehran, had become the first ever female professor of physics in Iran in 1964.

Born in an Armenian family in 1920 in Tehran, Alenush Terian graduated in 1947 from the Science Department in the University of Tehran and began her career in physics in the same university and was elected as the chief of laboratory operations in the same year.

She graduated in 1956 in atmospheric physics from Sorbonne University. She returned back to Iran and became an assistant professor in thermodynamics physics at the University of Tehran.

She was granted a four months solar physics scholarship by the German government, following which she became the first female professor of physics in Iran in 1964.

In 1966 she became member of the geophysics committee in the University of Tehran and in 1969 finally was elected as the chief of the solar physics studies in that university and began to work in the solar observatory which she was one of its founders. She was retired on 1979.

Never married, Terian’s focuses during her adult life were her studies and the students she taught. She was known as a caring instructor whose love for her students was duly requited.

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