SEAAN 2017 Commemorates Myanmar’s Vivid Astronomy Education.

29 – 30 Nov 2017

University of Mandalay

Mandalay, Myanmar

Much of the public interests were drawn to the field of astronomy while the 9th Southeast Asia Astronomy Network Meeting – SEAAN 2017 was commencing in the heart of the second-most largest and historic urban of Mandalay in the morning of November 29th 2017 with over 200 undergraduates, faculties, and the public attended the event. Co-hosted by the University of Mandalay (its Department of Physics) and the Thai counterpart, National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (Public Organization) under the bilateral signed MoU in 2016, SEAAN 2017 resumes for the 9th time since its very first 10 years ago in 2007.

 

        Given the annual growing anticipation from both organizers and participants, SEAAN 2017 marks an official threshold of the glimpse into astronomy in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. The Opening Ceremony was presided over by Myanmar’s Minister of Planning and Finance and the Director-General of Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Education who both delivered the speeches on behalf of the Burmese Government and the Pro-Rector of University of Mandalay deliver her thanking remarks on behalf of Madame Rector. Meanwhile, NARIT Executive Director – Dr. Saran Poshyachinda mentioned over his speech that “[…] Astronomy is borderless as it has always been. It incites knowledge beyond borders as it has proved to be a mechanism in forging the people-to-people relations forward. [We are] using astronomy as a vessel to bridge the gaps in cultures and education in our region and hopefully the entire world in the years to come. I strongly believe that astronomy is the ultimate tool to the people-to-people relations towards the sustainable development goals for now and forever.”

 

 

        Over the Business Meeting, country representatives welcomed 2 new members to the panel, Thailand’s Dr. Saran Poshyachinda – NARIT Executive Director and Cambodia’s Mr. Yann Rem – Royal University of Phnom Penh Lecturer. This is the first time a Cambodian national representative attended SEAAN, expanding the horizon of regional cooperation in astronomy across Southeast Asia. A decade-drafted SEAAN Charter was also ratified and entered into force this year, setting a solid blueprint for SEAAN members to follow. Prof. Boonrucksar Soonthornthum – NARIT Advisor was thus re-elected as a Chairman for SEAAN and is expected to remain in duty for the next 3 years.

 

 

        Entering the second and last day, SEAAN signature’s public platform was open for researchers, astronomers and interested students to deliver their approved oral presentations. This year, 7 outstanding research works were selected to present at SEAAN from fellow countries including Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines and Thailand. A wide range of research topics presented include “The Role of Private Education Institutions on Philippine Astronomy Education”, “Collaborative spectroscopy of emission-line objects: Detection of molecules in Classical Novae”, “Study of a Pulsar Pumped Cavity” and “Analysis of the M31 Galaxy’s population through RR Lyrae Variables” to name a few. Moreover, a representative from IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach also gave an invited talk on “OAO Roles in the Global Arena”.

 

 

        This year, the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), together with IAU OAO (Office for Astronomy Outreach) and IAU OAD (Office of Astronomy for Development) also joined in for the telescope donation, trainings and workshops altogether with NARIT for the extensive days that follow. SEAAN 2018 will be held in Indonesia’s Lampung, hosted by Institut Teknologi Sumatera (Sumatera Institute of Technology). Until then!