HANOI, Vietnam will open its first-ever astronomical observatory in central Khanh Hoa province in March 2017, according to the Vietnam National Satellite Center (VNSC) on Wednesday.
The observatory, built on a rocky area called Hon Chong in Khanh Hoa's Nha Trang City, some 1,040 km south of capital Hanoi, is in the finishing stage and will be ready for a pilot run by the Lunar New Year holiday in late January, said the VNSC.
Its official opening is scheduled in March next year.
VNSC director Pham Anh Tuan said Wednesday that a space telescope with 0.5-meter diameter will be installed inside a dome with 9-meter diameter. The dome can accommodate up to 60 people who come to observe space or watch movies about planets, stars and the history of the Earth.
Hon Chong observatory is one of the two observatory projects in Vietnam, costing a total of 120 billion Vietnamese dong (5.3 million U.S. dollars). The other one is under construction inside the Vietnam Space Museum in Hanoi's Hoa Lac High-Tech Park.
Both the observatory and the museum, which will open for visitors in mid-2018, are part of the VNSC project, the largest-ever national scientific project in the country with investment of some 600 million U.S. dollars, reported Vietnam News.