In June 2018, the Observatory and Planetarium of Vietnam National Space Center (Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology), located in Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park will be transferred in technique and put into pilot operation. This is one of the two observatories built within the framework of Vietnam Space Center Project.
Similar to Nha Trang Observatory, the Observatory in Hanoi consists of 0.5 meters in diameter optical telescope designed and made by Marcon, a famous Italian company for precision engineering. The telescope has a drive structure synchronized with an automatic dome control system. It is equipped with a professional image recorder and a high-quality spectrograph.
Operation and photo taking with the telescope at Hoa Lac Observatory
Some studies can be carried out with telescopes and accompanying equipment, including observing variable stars to study the features of the atmosphere; measuring the spectra of stars to collect information about the star type, rotation speed and magnetic magnitude on the star surface; measuring the radial velocity of the host star to look for exoplanets; measuring rotation speed of some planets; studying the morphology of galaxies; searching for asteroids near the Earth, supernovae or optical radiation associated with fast radio bursts, etc.
The observatory goes along with a 100-seat Planetarium with the diameter of 12 meters designed with a dome screen, which is larger than the one in Nha Trang (60 seats). The images and videos are projected onto the dome screen by a high-resolution 6-projector system producing 3D effects, which provides an authentic experience of space and the stars.
The Planetarium is also a tool for providing knowledge of astronomy, using visual images to explain the motion of celestial objects and many interesting astronomical phenomena.
A photo of Andromeda Galaxy, the closest galaxy to us, was one of the first images taken by the telescope at Hoa Lac Observatory after its installation was completed
“When the planetarium is put into operation, visitors will see impressive movies about the history of the universe’s creation with the dome screen, visit and see the operation of the 0.5 meters telescope – the largest telescope currently in Vietnam“, said Dr. Pham Anh Tuan, Director General of Vietnam National Space Center.
At this time, Vietnam National Space Center is developing a knowledge dissemination program for secondary and high school students to experience and acquire interesting knowledge about space science and astronomy when they visit the planetarium. This is an important start for the young generation to understand space science to form their passion for this field.
Previously, Nha Trang Observatory was responsible for conducting basic research in Optical astrophysics and disseminating knowledge about space science to the community; supporting for training, teaching and improving the quality of human resources in astrophysics and space science field; beside that cooperating with other local and foreign research groups in the same field has also been finalized and technically transferred by the end of 2017.