NARIT and VNSC Strive for Astronomical Knowledge Mobility in Vietnam

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August 25th 2016

Hanoi, Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Moving towards the second day of TEAM NARIT’s visit to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the integrated public lectures on Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology were given at A1 Meeting Hall, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology by NARIT and VNSC colleagues. Despite certain limitations of astronomy development in Southeast Asia, researchers joined hands in enhancing infrastructures and human resources through education and research experience cooperation across the region.


        Prof. Boonrucksar Soonthornthum – NARIT Executive Director highlighted the important reasons to develop astronomy in Southeast Asia during his talk “The recent development of NARIT and Southeast Asia regional cooperation in Astronomy and related fields” including benefits from scientific capacity building, attracting and inspiring youngsters for sustainable career paths, bringing about knowledge and wisdom to the community, initiating the acquisition and creation of new technologies to fostering national and international collaborations per se. These are the sufficient essentials to provide equivalent funding support from governments and business sectors alike, for the advancement of all. In the consequence of gigantic efforts in the recent years to increase the number of astronomers in the region as one of the most significant tools, “we are pleased to announce that the annual 2016 Southeast Asia Astronomical Network (SEAAN) will be hosted in Hanoi, Vietnam by our very own counterpart – Vietnam National Satellite Center (VNSC)” – said Prof. Boonrucksar.



        Given the fact that scientific education has always been a strong foundation for a prosperous society, after the NARIT-VNSC MoU was officially signed yesterday, rapid advancement in research and education in astronomy, astrophysics and related fields amidst the two nations are expected to be established via active networks of existing astronomers across the region and beyond for various-level training programs in capacity building and knowledge transfer of high-school and university students, young graduates and teachers.



        The second speaker was VNSC’s very own – Dr. Pham Tuan Anh. He contributed under the topic “Our Universe: A Flash Tour”. Introducing the audience to a new approach towards our universe by pointing out how humankind perceive it through time and brief history. Star and galaxy formations from their molecules and heat-up temperature were also touched upon, leading to how brightness was created – allowing lives to take advantage of the so-called ‘photosynthesis’.



        The last talk was presented by Dr. Utane Sawangwit – NARIT Research Astronomer on “Observational Cosmology”. Opening his talk by mentioning that by “looking far away in the Universe, you are looking back in time”, categorizing stars and galaxies based on time and distance, in which some parts of the expanded Universe are out of the observation. Introducing various theories of Einstein’s Greatest Blunder by touching upon in the relation between velocities and time in space. Universe measurement by Cosmological parameters analysis, Cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation from its early stages, The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) mission, and the significance of Dark Matter were also explained in details to the audience. Dr. Utane wrapped up his talk by mentioning that “Observations of CMB taught us that Galaxies, stars, planets, and ourselves originated from tiny fluctuations in the early Universe.”



        Later that day, NARIT delegation paid an exclusive visit to the Institute of Physics - IoP, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology - VAST. They were received by Prof. Dr. Le Hong Khiem – IoP Director and his team to discuss on the possibility of future collaborations between the two Institutes. VAST attained the endorsement to establish two Category II Centres under the auspices of UNESCO which include Institute of Physics and Institute of Mathematics – around the same time that NARIT’s Category II International Training Centre in Astronomy under the auspices of UNESCO – ITCA was endorsed. We shall thus certainly expect to hear of the cooperation in these related fields in no time!