Look to the stars: Vietnam to open first space observatory in Nha Trang

By VnExpress   December 19, 2016 | 10:50 pm PT
Look to the stars: Vietnam to open first space observatory in Nha Trang
The observatory under construction in Nha Trang. Photo by Pham Anh Tuan for Vietnam National Satellite Center
Star-gazers will have the chance to view eclipses and meteor showers in all their glory.

Vietnam will open the country's first space observatory in the central resort town of Nha Trang early next year, giving students and tourists a perfect view of the sky.

The observatory is being built at Hon Chong, a coastal point along Pham Van Dong Street, with a 0.5-meter telescope. An observatory dome of nine meters in diameter, which can hold 60 people at a time, is expected to draw tourists at special times such as eclipses or meteor showers.

The National Satellite Center, which is in charge of the observatory's construction, said Hon Chong is a popular tourist spot in Nha Trang and one of the best places to watch the stars from Vietnam.

Work on the observatory is expected to finish by the end of January before it opens to the public in March. Visitors can also watch films of planets and constellations, as well as the history of Earth.

It is one of two observatories being built in the country with an estimated cost of around VND120 billion ($5.27 million). The other in Hanoi is scheduled to open in mid-2018.

Nha Trang is a popular beach town and drew around one million foreign tourists in the first ten months of this year. The five biggest groups of visitors were Chinese, Russian, South Korean, American and Australian.

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