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.
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.
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.
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
Services outside the ROP Nakhon Ratchasima
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!