On November 27-29, I was invited by NARIT Director Boonrucksar Soonthornthum to visit Chiang Mai, Thailand, and to give an astrophysics talk to the staff at the Thai National Observatory (NARIT). Boonrucksar also graciously offered to host a group of our Yale-NUS College students at NARIT in March 2017 during my upcoming Observational Astronomy class. The visit to NARIT allowed me to meet with the NARIT astronomy staff, learn about their ongoing research programs, and see first hand some of the advanced capabilities in Thailand for observational astronomy. The NARIT observatory includes a 2.4 meter telescope on Thailand’s highest mountain, and the NARIT staff kindly drove me out to the 2.4-meter for a tour, in advance of our Yale-NUS College trip.
While in Chiang Mai, I had the privilege of touring several of the beautiful temples in the town. Some of these temples were constructed around 800AD when Chiang Mai was the capital of a powerful Buddhist empire. Below are some of the pictures of the temples in town.
After a 2.5 hour drive south from Chiang Mai, we visited the NARIT 2.4-meter telescope and had a wonderful lunch at the Royal gardens nearby. These photos show some of the impressive telescopes at NARIT and the beautiful gardens.