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Gazing at the Stars in Thailand

Gemmy talks with Thanakrit Santikunaporn, NARIT’s public outreach officer, at a star-gazing event for kids in Thailand.

“Public Night,” a star-gazing event organized by the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (NARIT), shows kids that the universe can be understood and enjoyed by everyone.

On Saturday nights through May 2020, NARIT is hosting hands-on activities at the Princess Sirindhorn Astrological Park in Chiang Mai, a city in Northern Thailand. Each year, the activities attract thousands of curious students and teachers from local schools.

“This event is great for star-gazing and observing celestial objects because of the clear night sky,” said Thanakrit Santikunaporn, NARIT’s public outreach officer. “The objective is to educate children about astronomy and to get them inspired about the night sky.” 


Visitors learn more about the planets at the Princess Sirindhorn Astrological Park. 


At the event, kids can observe the night sky through telescopes and use a star chart. There is also an astronomy gallery in which young visitors can admire paintings of planets and galaxies. 

"What I like about astronomy is Jupiter’s big red dot,” said nine-year-old visitor Nattakit Uachit. “The dot is a powerful storm on Jupiter. What amazed me was that about three Earths could fit inside there.”

Nakkit enjoyed looking at planets and galaxies through a telescope. “Rather than seeing the picture of Saturn in my astronomy class at school, I could see the real Saturn with my own eyes,” Nakkit said. “I’m impressed with the beauty of Saturn's rings.” 

At Public Night, kids also can see Mars, Venus, the Andromeda Galaxy, and the Pleiades.







Photos courtesy of the author