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Regional Observatory for the Public, Songkhla

ska update 6

Regional Observatory for the Public, Songkhla

The third astronomical learning centre that operates in full capacity for the public

Providing academic services for the local communities and supporting the implementation of astronomical curricula in schools. It also serves as another astro-tourism landmark in southern Thailand.

The ROP, Songkhla is located at latitude 7 0 9’ 29’’ N 1000  36' 39'' E in Khao Roop Chang, Muang District, Songkhla province on the 25 Rais of land. The operation commenced on the 25th of July 2019 as a southern hub for astronomical learning centre, disseminating academic services to the local communities, supporting research works in astronomy for students and educational institutes in the south. It also stand as a comprehensive Muslim learning centre.

Under the given 25 Rais of land, NARIT is operating its astronomical academic services in 3 building in the compound namely Administrative building, Planetarium, and Observatory Tower. Other constructions include outdoor viewpoint that opens up to 270 degree, providing an exclusive view of Songkhla city, coffee shop, restaurant and observation deck symbolising Scorpius constellation.

 

Name: Regional Observatory for the Public, Songkhla

Address: 79/4 Moo 4, Khao Roop Chang, Muang District, Songkhla Province 90000
Observatory Coordinates: Latitude 7 0 9’ 29’’ N 1000  36' 39'' E
Area size : 25 Rais

Operation Commenced: 25 July 2019 HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn graciously presided over the opening ceremony.

 

Infrastructures at ROP, Songkhla

NARIT has been running the exhibition zone within the Operation Office of ROP, Songkhla to disseminate astronomical knowledge to the public, teachers, students and those who are interested in learning astronomy and other related fields. The exhibition zone is showcasing various topics such as light and astronomy, telescopes and astronomical discovery, astronomical fundamental knowledge, presented through interactive multimedia, creating excitement, inspiration and scientific awareness to visitors with 15 learning stations namely;

  1. Seasons and Earth orbit around the Sun
  2. The occurrence of the waning and waxing moon
  3. Moon phases
  4. Tidal phenomenon
  5. Moon craters
  6. Colors of light combination
  7. Gas Planet Orbit
  8. Weight comparison on planets in the Solar System
  9. Light and Astro-photography
  10. Cosmic Ray Particle Detection Equipment
  11. Constellation Observation
  12. Planet replicas in the Solar System
  13. Planet scales in the Solar System
  14. Campo del Cielo Meteorite
  15. Mars spacecraft lander

 

Planetarium

Service hours: Tuesday – Sunday (Close on Mondays and Public Holidays)

 

Full-dome digital Planetarium

Tuesday – Friday: 11.00 – 12.00 and 15.00 – 16.00 hours

Saturday: 10.00 – 11.00 / 14.00 – 15.00 / 17.00 – 18.00 hours

Sunday: 10.00 – 11.00 and 14.00 – 15.00 hours

Entrance Fees

Adult: 50 THB per person

Students: 30 THB per person

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NARIT Public Night

Every Saturday 18.00 – 22.00 hours **Free of charge**

The 10-metre planetarium at ROP, Songkhla is equipped with FullDome digital projector, with 25 million pixel high definition. It can accommodate 52 seats each round that lasts for an hour. The presentation comes in live lectures by NARIT Public Outreach officers, followed by up-to-date astronomical short documentary.

 

ROP, Songkhla landscape
The ROP, Songkhla is located at latitude 7 0 9’ 29’’ N 1000  36' 39'' E in Khao Roop Chang, Muang District, Songkhla province on the 25 Rais of land. the outdoor viewpoint that opens up to 270 degree, providing an exclusive view of Songkhla city. Making it a perfect location for observation activities and learning hub in astronomy as Songkhla’s astro-tourism attraction. It is adjacent to the Comet Bridge, representing astronomical identity, lit up with LED lights at night.

 

Astronomy Tower

The Astronomy Tower comprises of 2 main parts. The first part is the sliding-roof building, equipped with 6 telescopes inside to accommodate astronomical services in both theory and hands-on. With the provided space, allowing the perfect night observations. The LiDAR air monitors have also been installed around the sliding-roof building for atmospheric science research, along with the all-sky camera, which is the vital equipment to detect weather conditions for the use of all astronomical instruments.

The second part being the 18-foot shell-shape fiberglass dome that opens up to 360 degrees, enabling all-sky observation. Inside is equipped with 0.7 refracting telescope, controlled by computer via internet. The telescope itself comes with high definition CCD Camera, LRGB color filter and narrow band filter, planet camera, spectrograph for data collection in research and celestial object photography during astronomical phenomena. It also come with separate eye lens for the convenience of both naked-eye observation and CCD Camera photography, in order to accommodate fundamental to advanced research works.

 

Telescopes and other equipment at ROP, Songkhla

  1. 14-inch telescope, with modern navigation and automatic tracking system. Equipped with Guider Scope to assist with better resolution of celestial object photography.
  2. 8-inch telescope, with modern navigation and automatic tracking system.
  3. 150-milimeter High Quality Refracting Telescope, stands out with Apochromatic lens that comes in such a quality, making it visible to observe closely the Moon craters, Cloud details, Jupiter’s red storm and Mars craters.
  4. 125-milimeter Binoculars is a large binoculars used for planet observation, open cluster, moon. This type of binoculars provide a rather dimentional images to observers than other types of telescopes.
  5. 106-milimeter and 130-milimeter Refracting Telescope, equipped with high quality lens on the German Equatorial tracking background. Enables these telescopes for the all-night-long planet tracking, ideal for large celestial object observation such as Moon, Orion Nebula, Pleiades.
  6. Solar Telescope, designed especially for safe solar observation. Observers are able to see clearly of Solar Prominence, while other telescopes with solar filter could only see the sun spots.

 

NARIT Public Night

               The Public Night is an activity that focuses on providing astronomical services to those with keen interests in astronomy. It is held every Saturday from sunset to 22.00 hours. Mobile telescopes will be deployed across the observation field for visitors to observe celestial objects, together with public lectures and other entertainment.

 

ROP, Songkhla Academic Services

NARIT has been running the exhibition zone within the Operation Office of ROP, Songkhla to disseminate astronomical knowledge to the public, teachers, students and those who are interested in learning astronomy and other related fields. The exhibition zone is showcasing various topics such as light and astronomy, telescopes and astronomical discovery, astronomical fundamental knowledge, presented through interactive multimedia, creating excitement, inspiration and scientific awareness to visitors with 15 learning stations namely;

  1. Seasons and Earth orbit around the Sun
  2. The occurrence of the waning and waxing moon
  3. Moon phases
  4. Tidal phenomenon
  5. Moon craters
  6. Colors of light combination
  7. Gas Planet Orbit
  8. Weight comparison on planets in the Solar System
  9. Light and Astro-photography
  10. Cosmic Ray Particle Detection Equipment
  11. Constellation Observation
  12. Planet replicas in the Solar System
  13. Planet scales in the Solar System
  14. Campo del Cielo Meteorite
  15. Mars spacecraft lander

 

Awareness and Enthusiasm Activities at ROP, Songkhla

  1. Speaker Assistant Training (22 – 23 December 2019)

Speaker Assistant Training is an activity held in both theory and hands-on sessions, aiming for students to be able to communicate scientific and astronomical information to the public, with 40 participating students from the south. From this activity, ROP, Songkhla has created skilled volunteers with astronomical tools and equipment, as well as enhancing human capacity at ROP in the future.

  1. National Children’s Day Activity (9 – 13 January 2019)

National Children’s Day Activity in 2019 was held to showcase astronomical and technological exhibition, so as to create inspiration in scientific and astronomical learning for students – encouraging them to possess scientific critical analysis from such an early age. The ROP, Songkhla ran the aforementioned activity at Central Festival Hat Yai during 9 – 13 January 2019, and at Khao Roop Chang Municipality on 12 January 2019.

  1. “Reach for the Star Activity”

The annual activity was most recently held in 2019 during astronomical phenomena such as Super Full moon and meteor shower. Mobile telescopes were deployed along with exhibition, public talks and lectures in astronomy for the local communities in Songkhla. In the year 2019, “Reach for the Star” was held at 3 different times, with overwhelming interests and enthusiasm from the public. Making the public to have full understanding about astronomy and astronomical phenomena.

  1. Astronomy for Inclusion

This activity is held with the aim to disseminate learning opportunity for students and people with disabilities. This activity was first held in 2019 and is still ongoing. The first time focused on school students under the royal patronage, in the form of astronomy camp which lasted 2 days and 1 night, in parallel with voluntary development camp for the border police patrol schools – allowing its 100 students to have the first-hand experience in astronomy learning from the toolkits brought from the ROP.

  1. Stargazing Activity to determine Ramadan Fasting Day

This activity is held for Moon observation through the astronomy camp and academic service for religious practices in Islam. The activity is divided into 2 parts. The first part being the 3-day workshop with 100 students from 10 schools in the deep south, focusing on general moon observation in order to determine Islamic significant days. While the second activity is exclusively for academic moon observation to determine the end of fasting period. This activity is mainly for religious leaders, students and local people in the south as observers prior to the announcement of Islamic Hari Raya.

  1. Astronomy Youth Camp on the Beach

With the aim to create inspiration in astronomy learning, the 3-day activity received over 1,500 applicants nationwide. Only those 100 selected participants get to experience various activities such as naked-eye observation, constellations, celestial object observation through different telescopes, planetarium visit and Songkhla cultural experience and attractions.

  1. Science Week

This activity is held for the public and students to make use of the ROP, Songkhla’s infrastructures. With the exhibition showcase, learning stations by skilled volunteers from previous activities, academic information is being transferred to visitors through over 10 learning stations to a total of 6,606 visitors.

  1. NARIT Public Night

This is an activity provides an opportunity for the general public with interests in astronomy to observe at ROP, Songkhla every Saturday from 18.00 – 22. 00 hours. Participants can observe celestial objects through various types of telescopes. So far, the activity has been held for 8 times with 2,275 visitors and 25 amateur astronomers.

  1. Higher Education Astronomical Research Project Training

Held during 23 – 25 August 2019 in Songkhla with 32 participants, aimed towards observation and equipment skills for astronomical research works.

  1. School Astronomical Club

Held during 30 May – 1 June 2019 in Songkhla with 30 participants from 10 Schools Astronomical Societies, along with their 10 teachers.

 

Types of Telescopes for observation services

  1. 14-meter Telescope is an up-to-date telescope, equipped with navigation and automatic tracking system for celestial objects, with Guider Scope to assist with high definition astrophotography.

Celestron EdgeHD 1400 , EdgeHD 9.25

Optical System : Advanced Coma-Free Telescope

Telescope Aperture : 14 inch (365 mm.) , 9.25 inch (234.95 mm)

Focal Length : 3910 mm. , 2350 mm.

Focal Ratio : F/11 , F/10

Mounting System : Equatorial Mount (CGE PRO , CGE)

  1. 150-milimeter High Quality Refracting Telescope, stands out with Apochromatic lens that comes in such a quality, making it visible to observe closely the Moon craters, Cloud details, Jupiter’s red storm and Mars craters.

Takahashi  TOA-150

Optical System : Refractor - Apochromatic

Telescope Aperture : 6 inch (150 mm.)

Focal Length : 1100 mm.

Focal Ratio : F/7.33

Mounting System : Equatorial Mount (EM-400)

  1. 130-milimeter High Quality Refracting Telecsope, stands out with Apochromatic lens that comes in such a quality. It is available for the public, who may bring along their cameras to connect with the telescope for their own astrophotography every Saturday night.

Takahashi  TOA-130

Optical System : Refractor - Apochromatic

Telescope Aperture : 5.11 inch (130 mm.)

Focal Length : 1000 mm.
Focal Ratio : F/7.7

Mounting System : Equatorial Mount (EM-200)

  1. 106-milimeter Refracting Telescope, for large celestial object observation such as Moon, Orion Nebula, Pleiades.

Takahashi  FSQ-106

Optical System : Refractor - Apochromatic

Telescope Aperture : 4.2 inch (106 mm.)

Focal Length : 530 mm.

Focal Ratio : F/5

Mounting System : Equatorial Mount (EM-200)

  1. 125-milimeter Binoculars is a large binoculars used for planet observation, open cluster, moon. This type of binoculars provide a rather dimentional images to observers than other types of telescopes.

Vixen BT126ss-A

Optical System : Refractor - Apochromatic

Telescope Aperture : 4.9 inch (126 mm.)

Focal Length : 625 mm.

Focal Ratio : F/5

Mounting System : Equatorial Mount (Sirius) (astrotech)

  1. Solar Telescope, designed especially for safe solar observation. Observers are able to see clearly of Solar Prominence, while other telescopes with solar filter could only see the sun spots.

Coronado 90 mm.

Optical System : Refractor - Apochromatic

Telescope Aperture : 3.5 inch (90 mm.)

Focal Length : 792 mm.

Focal Ratio : F/8.8

Filter : Hydrogen - Alpha

Mounting System : Equatorial Mount (Sirius,astrotech)

 

Types of Telescopes for astronomical education

  1. 10-inch Dobsonian Telescope is the fundamental telescope used for youth activities at ROP, Songkhla.
  2. Large Refracting Telescope, 4-inch and 5-inch telescopes are used for trainings and workshops at ROP, Songkhla.
  3. Telescope Assemble Set, used for refracting telescope assemble process.

 ska update 9

Regional Observatory for the Public, Chachoengsao

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Regional Observatory for the Public, Chachoengsao

Regional Observatory for the Public, Chachoengsao

National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (Public Organization)

Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation

               ‘Chalermprakhiat’ Astronomical Observatory Commemorating King Bhumibhol's 7th Cycle Birthday Anniversary, Chachoengsao or the Regional Observatory for the Public, Chachoengsao is the second astronomical learning centre that operates in full capacity, located at 999, Wang Yen, Pleang Yao District in Chachoengsao Province with 36 Rais of land, donated by the Wang Yen temple. It provides academic services in astronomy to local and nearby communities, as well as supports astronomy curricula in schools, fundamental research and is an astro-tourism attraction in the region.

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Infrastructures within ROP, Chachoengsao

  • Planetarium – comprised of the 10-metre projection dome, equipped with Fulldome Digital Projector with 25 million pixels, displaying the Stellarium program with sky objects such as stars, constellations, sun, moon, galaxies, nebulae, clusters and other planets appeared in the designated dates and times. Information on celestial spheres, celestial coordinates and short documentaries on solar system, deep sky objects and astronomical films are also available.
  • Astronomical Exhibition Building – Displaying interactive learning exhibition, for visitors to have virtual experience. The exhibition comprises of 14 different zones namely;
  • Spectrum and Astronomical Discovery

 - Spectrum and Astronomical Discovery          

  - Solar Observation

- Light Concentration of telescopes

  - Planet Weights in the Solar System

- Light Refraction

  - Light & Astronomical Photography

- Colors of Light Combination

  - Meteors

- Moon Phases

  - The Significance of Telescope Aperture          

- Gas Planet Self-orbit

  - Moon Exploration

- Moon Craters

  - Seasons & Earth Orbit around the Sun

  • Observation Tower – Comprised of a shell-shaped fiberglass dome with 18-foot diameter that opens up to 180 degrees, enabling to observe the all sky. It is equipped with 0.7-metre optical telescope – mainly used for research purposes. It is operated and controlled by the CCD computer for data handling, equipped with a professional eyepiece to observe celestial objects. Other equipment for astronomical research use can also be connected such as spectrograph.
  • Astronomical Learning Center – for hosting learning activities, events, lectures and exhibition
  • Planet Walk – Designed under the concept ‘self-learning exploration’ around the compound, by transforming the familiar Solar System into different parts of the ROP.

The Planetarium acts as the Sun – center of the Solar System and surrounded by other planets, telling interesting facts about astronomy to visitors.

1.6 Stonehenge Replica – The circular complex used for sunrise/sunset observation. The horseshoe arrangements are aligned to the sunset of the winter solstice and the opposing sunrise of the summer solstice. This enables the pre-historic settlers to calculate a total of 365 days in a year and how seasons change. As for this replica, it is a 1/3 smaller in size of the actual Stonehenge, facing at 13.6°N latitude, where the ROP, Chachoengsao is located.

 

  • Samrat Yantra Replica – Samrat Yantra is an astronomical observatory, equipped with a sundial instrument from Jantar Mantar Memorial where all astronomical architectures built by the Rajput king Sawai Jai Singh II are located. The site was completed in 1738 in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India.

The sundial consists of gnomon, laying its shadow onto the background plate, which casts a shadow onto the dial. As for this Samrat Yantra replica, the dial is made of a slope, coincides with an observer angle (13.6°N for ROP, Chachoengsao) pointing towards the north, aligned with the circular plate in the background according to the dial. Given the tilted dial at this latitude, making the slope goes in parallel with the Earth’s axis, the Sun shadow thus lays in circle surrounding the slope regardless of the sun coordinates on the sky.

        The sundial can tell the local solar modern time, for example, the local solar modern time at 12.00 hour, the sun will appear right upon the Meridian line, making the Samrat Yantra appears at its shortest, without appearing on the background plate. However, the local time we refer to is Thailand standard time, which is a comparison to the local solar modern time at the approximate 105° Longitude (in Ubon Ratchathani Province). And does not take into account the Earth orbit that makes the solar time slightly different to the standard time of the year.

  • Astronomical Painting Wall
  • Observation Ground – for hosting observation events during astronomical phenomena with the capacity of 1,500 people.
  • Camping Ground – an open space for visitors to camp out overnight while attending astronomy camp and during astronomical phenomenal observation
  • Botanical Garden – With the generosity of Toyota Motors (Thailand) and the Eastern Water Resources Development and Management Public Company Limited, allowing the ROP, Chachoengsao to construct the botanical garden surrounding the observatory compound including edible and religious plants, along with the irrigation system under the support of Santhithamathorn Foundation. This garden stands as a natural learning landmark, along with science.

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ROP, Chachoengsao Services

               Academic services at ROP are aimed to raise awareness of astronomy education to the public, covering all levels from children, youth, teachers, general public and amateur astronomers. This will ultimately create inspiration and uplift the knowledge-based society in science and technology. Each activity held was carefully designed and customized according to each target such as;

  • Astronomical knowledge transfer for students, undergraduates and general public
  • Astronomy camps for students, undergraduates and educational institutions
  • Astronomical research support for students, undergraduates and educational institutions
  • Astronomical Teacher Trainings
  • Celestial object observation events

 

Service hours

Activities and Services

Tuesday – Sunday

(Close on Monday)

 

Planetarium Entrance Fees (per person)

Adult: 50 Baht

Student: 30 Baht

Free entry for small children, elderly, monks and people with disabilities

 

Planetarium Screenings (FullDome Digital):

Tuesday – Friday: 11.00 – 12.00 and 15.00 – 16.00 hours

Sunday: 10.00 – 11.00 and 14.00 – 15.00 hours

 

NARIT Public Night

Observation through telescopes

Saturday: 18.00 – 22.00 hours

*** Free of Charge ***

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Academic Contents

Within the ROP, there are various services provided on astronomical knowledge including;

Astronomy Exhibition – Displaying 14 interactive astronomical stations. The exhibition is designed and developed by NARIT’s homegrown officers, to allow visitors for self-learning and first-hand experience and experiment.

Planetarium – for celestial interpretation, stars, the rounded screen gives a concrete idea of an actual sky, making it understandable for all. The overwhelming excitement of the stars, Sun, Moon, galaxies, nebulae, clusters, planets and deep sky objects onto the screen never disappoint!

               Apart from the lectures for visitors, ROP is also available for teachers and students to access the planetarium as their own classroom in the school curriculum.

Learning Process Management

 

Activities are focused to cover all 4 different targets namely;

  1. General public
  2. Children and Youth
  3. Teachers
  4. Amateur astronomers

This will ultimately create inspiration and uplift the knowledge-based society in science and technology. Each activity held was carefully designed and customized according to each target such as;

  1. Activities for the public such as observation on tour, NARIT Public Night every Saturday, Astronomical Phenomenal observation such as total lunar eclipse, annual super full moon, Jupiter opposition, Saturn opposition

Astronomy Family Camp – is one of many activities held exclusively for the public with high popularity. It is focused on family, a vital foundation for quality human capacity building. This is done through astronomical equipment, toolkits, and infrastructures.

  1. Activities for children and youth: ROP, Chachoengsao has been implementing various types of astronomical activities for children and youth such as Astronomy camps for youth, providing learning experience in astronomy with first-hand observation, telescope operation and other equipment. Astronomy rally, for students to start their own astronomy rally in schools, astronomy activities at schools, young astronomy communicator workshop, so that students can communicates their knowledge to their own domains, and become volunteers at ROP in assisting visitors. ROP, Chachoengsao also provides special activities for children with disabilities, by bringing students from Panyanukul school from Bangkok and Chachoengsao together through the customized activities of their needs.
  1. Activities for teachers: ROP, Chachoengsao realizes the importance of knowledge transfer for teachers and educators as they are the core center to disseminate these knowledge onto the students. This is done from the very fundamental basic knowledge in astronomy, strengthening learning management skills, toolkit development and ultimately transfer these skills onto the students in the long run.

 

  1. Activities for amateur astronomers: enabling those with keen interests in astronomy to have access to ROP infrastructures, with the platform to exchange experience between astronomers, and enhancing networks for amateur astronomers.

At the present days, Thai society is transforming into the aging society with emerging elderly. In the future, the ROP, Chachoengsao will come up with customized activities to serve the elderly.

 

Types of Telescopes for observation services

  1. 14-meter Telescope is an up-to-date telescope, equipped with navigation and automatic tracking system for celestial objects, with Guider Scope to assist with high definition astrophotography.

Celestron EdgeHD 1400 , EdgeHD 9.25

Optical System : Advanced Coma-Free Telescope

Telescope Aperture : 14 inch (365 mm.) , 9.25 inch (234.95 mm)

Focal Length : 3910 mm. , 2350 mm.

Focal Ratio : F/11 , F/10

Mounting System : Equatorial Mount (CGE PRO , CGE)

  1. 150-milimeter High Quality Refracting Telescope, stands out with Apochromatic lens that comes in such a quality, making it visible to observe closely the Moon craters, Cloud details, Jupiter’s red storm and Mars craters.

Takahashi  TOA-150

Optical System : Refractor - Apochromatic

Telescope Aperture : 6 inch (150 mm.)

Focal Length : 1100 mm.

Focal Ratio : F/7.33

Mounting System : Equatorial Mount (EM-400)

  1. 130-milimeter High Quality Refracting Telecsope, stands out with Apochromatic lens that comes in such a quality. It is available for the public, who may bring along their cameras to connect with the telescope for their own astrophotography every Saturday night.

Takahashi  TOA-130

Optical System : Refractor - Apochromatic

Telescope Aperture : 5.11 inch (130 mm.)

Focal Length : 1000 mm.
Focal Ratio : F/7.7

Mounting System : Equatorial Mount (EM-200)

  1. 106-milimeter Refracting Telescope, for large celestial object observation such as Moon, Orion Nebula, Pleiades.

Takahashi  FSQ-106

Optical System : Refractor - Apochromatic

Telescope Aperture : 4.2 inch (106 mm.)

Focal Length : 530 mm.

Focal Ratio : F/5

Mounting System : Equatorial Mount (EM-200)

  1. 125-milimeter Binoculars is a large binoculars used for planet observation, open cluster, moon. This type of binoculars provide a rather dimentional images to observers than other types of telescopes.

Vixen BT126ss-A

Optical System : Refractor - Apochromatic

Telescope Aperture : 4.9 inch (126 mm.)

Focal Length : 625 mm.

Focal Ratio : F/5

Mounting System : Equatorial Mount (Sirius) (astrotech)

  1. Solar Telescope, designed especially for safe solar observation. Observers are able to see clearly of Solar Prominence, while other telescopes with solar filter could only see the sun spots.

Coronado 90 mm.

Optical System : Refractor - Apochromatic

Telescope Aperture : 3.5 inch (90 mm.)

Focal Length : 792 mm.

Focal Ratio : F/8.8

Filter : Hydrogen - Alpha

Mounting System : Equatorial Mount (Sirius,astrotech)

 

Types of Telescopes for astronomical education

  1. 10-inch Dobsonian Telescope is the fundamental telescope used for youth activities at ROP, Chachoengsao.
  2. Large Refracting Telescope, 4-inch and 5-inch telescopes are used for trainings and workshops at ROP, Chachoengsao
  3. Telescope Assemble Set, used for refracting telescope assemble process.

 

Contact Us

Regional Observatory for the Public, Chachoengsao

999 Wang Yen, Plaeng Yao District, Chachoengsao Provicne 24190

Tel. 038-589-395, 084-088-2264

Fax. 038-589-396

Facebook: @NARITCCO

Divisions:

Academic Services: Tel. 053-121268-9 ext. 632

Public Relations: Tel. 053-121268-9 ext. 635  

Finance and Budget: Tel. 053-121268-9 ext. 633 

 

 

Regional Observatory for the Public, Nakhon Ratchasima

nma home

Regional Observatory for the Public, Nakhon Ratchasima

               The Regional Observatory for the Public, Nakhon Ratchasima is 1 of the 5 ROPs in Thailand. It is the first astronomical learning centre that operates in full capacity, operated by NARIT, Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation. It provides academic services in astronomy to local and nearby communities, as well as supports astronomy curricula in schools, fundamental research and is an astro-tourism attraction in the region.

Operations

Access to the Infrastructures – with the aim to provide knowledge and raise awareness and understanding in astronomy to the regional public, the activities include public night, near-earth objects observation, academic lectures, hands-on workshops, as well as providing advices and equipment for astronomy research projects.

Service hours:

Planetarium shows:

Tuesday – Friday: 11.00 – 12.00 and 15.00 – 16.00 hours

Saturday – Sunday: 10.00 – 11.00 and 14.00 – 15.00 hours

Saturday Night Observation: Telescope operates from 18.00 – 22.00 hours

For group reservations, kindly contact during office hours:

Morning: 9.00 – 11.00 hours

Afternoon: 13.00 – 15.00 hours

Additional: 18.00 – 21.00 hours

Note that Planetarium shows include astronomical short-films and/or live narration that may vary.

Infrastructures

                The main infrastructures of ROP Nakhon Ratchasima comprised of the Exhibition Hall, Observatory Tower and Office Building.

Exhibition Hall: Showcases 14 interactive astronomy exhibitions, aiming for self-learning through visitors’ own experience.

“14 Interactive Exhibition Zones”

 

The building is adjacent to the Planetarium, which comprises of temporary exhibition – showcasing interesting and familiar astronomical facts. Currently, the Solar System is on display, altogether with astronomy professional photographs taken by Thai people, and 10 interesting astronomical phenomena. In the innermost of the Planetarium sits the 10-metre Dome equipped with projectors in Full Dome Digital with high definition more than 12 million pixels

“Inside the Planetarium”


Observation Tower:
The 2-storey tower is situated behind an open area for mobile telescopes and astronomical phenomena with large crowds.

The second floor of the tower houses 5 high-definition telescopes with diametres between 5 – 14 inches. They are all well-preserved in the sliding roof. Right beside it is the outdoor terrace to accommodate observers up to 200 pax.

On the other side of the Observation Tower is a shell-shaped fiberglass dome with 18-foot diameter that opens up to 180 degrees, enabling to observe the all sky. It is equipped with 0.7-metre optical telescope – the largest in the Northeastern region and the 3rd largest in Thailand. This telescope is considered one of the most modern with highest quality in Thailand that serves mainly the general public. From this telescope, we can observe various objects in the sky such as Jupiter (largest planet in our Solar System), Saturn (planet with the most spectacular and largest ring in the Solar System), Andromeda Galaxy (our closest neighbor to the Milky Way), and Orion Nebula (large and brightest nebula) just to name a few.

“Observatory and 0.7-metre Telescope”


 

Office Building: Acts as the main operating facility for the ROP staff members.

 

Operation and Services

Services within the ROP Nakhon Ratchasima compound

Daytime services

Nighttime services

 

Services outside the ROP Nakhon Ratchasima

Daytime services

Nighttime services

Academic Services

Observation is conducted every Saturday night called NARIT Public Night

 

Public access to the telescope is also possible every Saturday night, with astronomers ready at the station for insights and your convenience throughout the observation. Objects on the sky also tend to change in different seasons, which keeps the observation very interesting indeed.

 

Astronomical Activity Stations

               Aiming to learn astronomy through different stations of activities that are customized for each target groups. Encouraging visitors to think, analyze and hands-on problem solving skills.

 

D.I.Y. Telescopes

               Learn how telescopes work under their given components through learning kit made of PVC pipes as the main component, as well as other materials available in the market.

 

Solar Observation

               Get to know the Sun up close and personal! Study its phenomena and changes, observe the sunspots, solar flares through the solar telescope and calculate the self-orbiting speed of the Sun.

 

D.I.Y. Solar System Model

               Learn of the sizes and distances of each planet in the Solar System according to the precise ratios, comparing to the actual planets!

 

Lunar Craters

               Find out the diameter of lunar craters based on the basic mathematics skills.

 

Talk Astronomy Stations

               Providing academic insights in astronomy for the understanding through lectures where visitors can adapt to further their learnings.

    • Fundamental Observation

Get to know constellations through the planisphere. They can give directions, measure their angles, seasonal highlights and look them up through your smartphones.

    • Out-of-this-world Stories

Know more of astronomy beyond our planet Earth and study other interesting objects in the sky.

    • Astronomy in your daily life

Astronomy is all around us. We can see it in our everyday routine like Sunrise and Sunset, the Moon. Have you ever wondered where the calendar comes from? Why does it have to be 12 months? What about seasons? Come find out!

 

Research Services

Provide counseling for astronomical projects and research works, as well as astronomical equipment for data collection and establishing research and academic networks.

 

Research works with cooperation and equipment from ROP, Nahon Ratchasima

 

Activities under ROP, Nakhon Ratchasima Projects

               In order to raise awareness and enthusiasm in science, disseminating equal access in astronomy for the general public and local schools, this is done through the main targets of NARIT including youth, teachers, public, and amateur astronomers.

 

Target: Youth

Children’s Day Activities

               Focusing on basic activities for kids to enjoy while learning through the thought-provoking process. Themes are customized and being adapted according to each year’s highlights and phenomena.

 

Astronomy on Tour

               Promoting analytical and scientific skills for youth across Northeastern Thailand. Disseminate learning opportunities to schools in the rural areas from the ROP. Activities come in different stations and lectures according to the astronomical curriculum of the Institute for the Promotion of Teaching Science and Technology (IPST), as well as night observation.

 

Science Week

               In Commemoration of HM King RAMA IV’s accurate prediction of the solar eclipse of August 18, 1868, the ROP, Nakhon Ratchasima is thus hosting the annual Science Week. Activities come in scientific experiment stations, planetarium visit, 14 astronomical exhibition zones, and night observation.

 

E-Saan Young Astronomers Training

               To promote the learning environment, this training is for the youth who currently enroll in high schools across Northeastern Thailand to exchange their astronomical knowledge with friends. Aged between 15 – 19 year old, 40 students will be led through astronomical stations, team work, academic lectures, creative presentations and recreational activities.

 

Astronomy Assembly in Schools

               Establishing Astronomy Assembly networks in schools across Northeastern Thailand to promote astronomical activities in school. One teach and 3 students with keen interests in astronomy are recruited for this training in making astronomical equipment and storage, academic guidelines, astronomical phenomenal observation, as well as exchanging ideas on astronomy assembly in schools.

 

Target: Teachers

Astronomical Project and Learning Toolkit Training

               Disseminating knowledge and technical operations of astronomical equipment for teachers affiliated with Northeastern Thailand through toolkit design and development, enhance skills in such equipment, and exchange teaching ideas among participating teachers.

       

Target: Public

Astronomy for Society

               Disseminating learning opportunity in astronomy and enabling the people in Nakhon Ratchasima and nearby provinces to participate more in astronomical activities in order to promote ROP Nakhon Ratchasima. This is done through holding activities in crowded areas, with night observation, astronomical photography and equipment showcase, and Q&A session for rewards.

 

Family Observers

               This activity is held during school breaks, enabling for families with 3 -5 members, that include at least 1 kid aged between 5 – 12 year old to apply. Each year, the activity takes in 15 families or maximum 60 people to participate in astronomical activity stations for kids, focusing on fruitful teamwork with both day activities and night sessions.

 

Observing Astronomical Phenomena

               Each year, there are numerous astronomical phenomena that can be observed from Earth. The ROP opens up its modern equipment and telescopes for the general public to observe those phenomena up close, with accurate knowledge, lectures, leaflets and toolkits provided.

 

“Partial Eclipse, March 2016”

“Super Full Moon, May 2017”

“Geminid Meteor Shower, December 2018”

“Saturn Opposition, July 2019”

 

Target: Amateur Astronomers

Astronomical Photography Workshop

               Specialized for Astro-Photographers to gain accurate knowledge, techniques and insights on astronomical photography equipment. This is open for the general public with keen interests in photography to participate. They will be guided by Astronomical Information staff though hands-on workshop in actual surroundings.

 

Astronomical Activities on Tour

               Exhibition and lecture sessions outside of the ROP are always possible as requested by educational institutions and other sectors. Our staff are ready to bring along equipment and mobile telescopes to serve you!

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Regional Observatories for the Public Network

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     In addition to the main National Observatory at Doi Inthanon, NARIT has been committed to establish 5 more regional observatories scattered through the five geographical zones of the country. These observatories, though modest in scale comparing to the main National Observatory, will allow the public in the areas and nearby districts to gain better access to information in astronomy and space technology. Consequently, this will strengthen the infrastructure of the nation?s capacity in astronomy and space technology and will contribute to capacity building in education and even research in the field in the long run. It is speculated that through these regional observatories, collaboration and cooperation between the well established in big cities and the rural ones will substantialize.

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Regional Observatory for the Public, Nakhon Ratchasima

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Regional Observatory for the Public, Cha Cheong Sao

 

The five regional public observatories will be situated in Nakorn Ratchasima, Khon Kaen, Chachoengsao, Pitsanuloke and Songkla, representing the lower north eastern, the upper north eastern, the eastern, the lower northern and the southern parts of Thailand respectively. Each of the so-mentioned public observatories is equipped with a 0.5 meter telescope, a CCD camera, and a spectrograph. Most of them are expected to operate in their full capacities not later than 2015.

The already existing observatory in the North, Sirindhorn Observatory, has become a alliance of NARIT observatories in early 2009.

 

Regional Observatories for the Public (ROPs)

The Regional Observatories for the Public is the project initiated by HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, and was hence bestowed upon the official name ‘Chalermprakhiat Astronomical Observatory Commemorating King Bhumibhol's 7th Cycle Birthday Anniversary’ followed by the name of respective province where the observatory is situated. Under the mission to raise awareness on science and technology across different regions in Thailand for the Thai people to have equal access in learning astronomy, the ROPs will act as learning centres in astronomy for local communities and schools, to support astronomical academic services in school’s curricula and become the modern astro-tourism attractions of the region. The Regional Observatories for the Public now fully operate in 3 different locations namely Nakhon Ratchasima, Chachoengsao and Songkhla.

The Regional Observatories of the Public are among the top state-of-the-art astronomical facilities, equipped with advanced capacity to provide academic services for students and the general public across all regions in Thailand. The ROPs can also provide support for astronomy education and other related fields in order to raise awareness and create astronomy enthusiasts and scientists, strengthen research and academic networks for knowledge-based society and sustainable development.

ROPs Facilities

  • Observatory
  • Planetarium
  • Astronomy Exhibition
  • Astronomical Landscapes
  • Learning Centres

ROPs Services

  • Astronomical knowledge transfer
  • Astronomical Information for students and general public
  • Short-term astronomy camps for students and educational institutes
  • Astronomical research support for students and educational institutes

Activities

Service hours: Tuesday – Sunday from 9.00 – 16.00 (close on Mondays)

Planetarium show:

Tuesday – Friday: 11.00 – 12.00 and 15.00 – 16.00 hours

Saturday: 10.00 – 11.00, 14.00 – 15.00, 17.00 – 18.00 hours

Sunday: 10.00 – 11.00 and 14.00 – 15.00 hours

NARIT Public Night (Saturday 6PM – 10PM)

  • Chiang Mai: November – May
  • Songkhla: January – October
  • Chachoengsao: Year round
  • Nakhon Ratchasima: Year round

Entrance Fees:

  • Planetarium: Students 30 Baht, General Public 50 Baht
  • Astronomy Exhibition: Free
  • NARIT Public Night: Free

Regional Observatories for the Public (ROPs)

               From the advancement of science and particularly, astronomy in the present days, combined with the emerging enthusiasm from students and the public towards astronomy, the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (Public Organization) realizes the importance of astronomy education in all school levels to graduate programs. NARIT has thus established 5 Regional Observatories for the Public to be the learning centres and research works in astronomy, as well as the hubs for knowledge transfers to schools, universities and the societies for their precise understandings in astronomy, and ultimately being able to adapt these knowledge into the curricula and everyday lives.

               The Cabinet consensus has granted permission to the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (Public Organization), Ministry of Science and Technology (then) to establish the Regional Observatories for the Public Project on 24 March 2009. 3 of which have been completed and in full operations namely ROP Nakhon Ratchasima, ROP Chachoengsao and ROP Songkhla, while the other 2 are under construction process.

               Each ROP is equipped with an observatory, which houses the 0.5-m telescope and the 14-inch telescope. A number of smaller telescopes for research works such as CCD Camera, Spectrograph and other astronomical equipment are also available for public services from NARIT Public Night to advanced research conducted by teachers, students and researches across the regions. Apart from research equipment, the ROP also houses a planetarium for astronomical and space multimedia shows for students and general public to visit and gain knowledge and full understanding about the sky, near-earth objects and effects from climate change such as Solar Storms.

               In the mere future, ROPs will link all astronomical data to the 2.4-m telescope at Thai National Observatory (TNO) atop Doi Inthanon Mountain in Chiang Mai. This will enable ROPs visitors to access data insights from the aforementioned TNO.

 

 
All Activities

Workshop/Event

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