Astronomy in Viet Nam

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Astronomy in Viet Nam

(Triennial report for IAU C46 Newsletter)

Nguyen Dinh Huan

Vice President of Vietnamese Astronomical Society

Member IAU, Member of the TAD Program Group for 2003-2006

I.Vietnamese Astronomy recived a many multi-national support.

Several countries heve actively helped astronomy in Viet Nam.

Vinh University received a 21 cm refractor telescope from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada with help of Prof. A. Batten, and three telescopes from Nishi-Harima Astronomical Observatory with help of Prof. T. Kogure. A planetarium with capacity of 100 seats and a projector received as Cultural Grant-in-Aid from Japan through the support of Prof. Kitamura and Prof. T. Kogure. The HaNoi Pedagogical University was received a 40cm Meade Schmidt Cassegrain telescopes (computer-controlled with a CCD ST-7) and a 10cm Takahashi reflector with H-alpha filter with help of Prof. Y. Kozai; a small solar radio intrferometer, donated by Prof. Nguyen Quang Rieu. The Pedagogical University in HoChiMinh city has received a 20cm telescope and CCD through the support of Prof. Y. Kozai and Gunma Observatory. A PC, printer, slide projector, many books, journals were sent to many Universities in Viet Nam.
II. The IAU TAD program in Viet Nam.

In Viet Nam, TAD was carried during 1997 – 2004. The main task for TAD has been to train the teacher of the on-groing astronomy course on the pedagogical universities. “Teachers’ workshops” gradually introduced up-to-date astronomical topics and reviewed the associated physics. A new text “Astrophysics”, printed in 2000 and re-published first in 2002 and second in 2003, in Vietnamese and English on facing pages and with books, journals, educational softwares was main document for the teachers. Workshops “Teaching of Astronomy” (1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2004) were intended for astronomy-teachers at universities, for graduate students who expect to start a career in astronomy and for secondary school teachers with experience teaching astronomy.

Vietnamese Astronomical Society hightly valued the assistance of the IAU to the development of astronomy in Viet Nam via TAD and other programs. Thanks to these programs, some astronomers and teachers have opportunity to study and to improve their knowledge. Universities received many books, magazines and telescopes. Astronomical teaching quality at universities has improved.
III. Astivities for astronomy development after the TAD.

Same universities in Ha Noi, Vinh, Qui Nhon, HoChiMinh cities plan to build a curriculum of astrophysics courses for students in physics who plan to start a career in astronomy. This will be a compulsory curriculum for sush students after the third year, when they have finished the “Genaral Education”. Every year, each of universities will select about 5 – 10 students to do research and write their graduate theses in astronnomy.

Vietnamese astronomers write an astronomy textbook appropriate for the course on the solar system to be required in the 12th year of school in the natural sciences branch of secondary schools.

Universities train future school astronomy teachers provide small telescopes for observations, carefully selected books, journals for their libraries, and effecctive materials for audio-visual and hands-on presentations. Universites acquire access the internet, world wide web, so as do optimize this facility for aiding Vietnamese Astronomy. Many uniersities has their website in astronomy. Many astronomy-teachers from universities write textbook, exercises and guide of practical observation for their universities.

Published the Astronomical dictionary and Popular Astronomy Bulletin.

Improving the activities of Vinh Planetarium with two shows donated by Davis Planettarium (Baltimore, USA) and many DVD vidios.

National professional worksop “ Astronomy and Culture” was held in Ha Noi in order to disseminate astronomical knowledge and dissipate the mysticism among the Vietnamese people. Vietnamese Astronomical Society collaborate with VTV3 of Vietnamese Television to carry out TV program on Astronomy.

The telescopes in Ha Noi and HoChiMinh city universities provides a opportunity to impart to science students the nature of science, the role of measurement, and the need for judgment regarding the quality of data and reliability of their interpretaton.

Vietnamese Astronomers select a few more of the best students and send them abroad to study astronomy, towards the M.Sc and Ph.D. Now, two young astronomers have receved postdoctoral fellowship at University of Notre Dame and Central Florida University, USA.

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