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Vietnam's first observatory to open in September

Released at: 10:01, 28/08/2017

Vietnam's first observatory to open in September

Photo: Baomoi.vn

Nha Trang Observatory set to look at the stars from end of next month.

by Le Diem

The Nha Trang Observatory, Vietnam’s first, is scheduled to open at the end of September, according to the Vietnam National Space Center under the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology.

With construction beginning in 2014, the observatory is located at Hon Chong, a natural rocky landscape by the beach in the south-central coastal city. Costing some VND60 billion ($2.6 million), it has a 0.5-meter optical telescope, a 60-seat cosmic projection room, and a 200 sq m exhibition room.

The telescope is a reflective optical telescope made by the Marcon Company, an Italian company renowned for astronomical equipment. It is equipped with a camera and a spectrum analyzer with high resolution in a wide wave range.

The cosmic projection room is designed like a movie theatre with a dome screen. Images as well as the footage are screened on the dome by a system of six high-resolution projectors that bring true 3D effects. It provides knowledge about astronomy, explaining a number of astronomical phenomena, such as the seasons of the year; the change of the position of celestial bodies in the sky, and familiar phenomena such as eclipses through visual effects, helping people satisfy their curiosity, especially children, about space and the universe.

According to the Vietnam National Space Center, the main function of the Nha Trang Observatory is to conduct basic research on optical astrophysics, popularize cosmic science among the public, provide support for training, teaching, and improving human resources in astrophysics, and collaborate with similar organizations in Vietnam and abroad.

Studies may also be carried out with the telescope, such as the observation of variable stars from which atmospheric studies are performed, measuring the spectral lines of stars to collect information about the type of star, its speed of rotation, and the magnetic field on its surface, measuring the speed of rotation of certain planets, studying the morphology of galaxies, and searching for near-Earth objects and supernovae, etc.

Nha Trang authorities have decided to add the observatory to city tours as a new destination for tourists to explore when visiting the city.

Vietnam’s second observatory is under construction at the Hoa Lac High-Tech Park in Hanoi, and is expected to begin operations next year. In 2021, Vietnam hopes to manage microsatellite technology for Earth observations and in 2025 send experts to the International Space Station.

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