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Young people discover the universe via telescopes

Many young people have been spending time and money to buy telescopes and build rooftop observatories to admire the wonders of the universe.

Many young people have been spending time and money to buy telescopes and build rooftop observatories to admire the wonders of the universe.

On weekend nights, Nguyen Ngoc Quyen, 23, a student at the Hanoi University of Science and Technology, squinted his eyes into a telescope. He immersed himself in the countless strange things that he saw from the vast universe.

Quyen has had a passion for telescopes since 2012 when he was a seventh grader. At that time, building telescopes and amateur astronomical observation activities began to attract him.

The student created a telescope which allowed him to see the moon and glittering stars more clearly. He joined astronomy forums and clubs to learn about creating telescopes from far-sighted glasses and magnifiers.

“With assistance from predecessors, I finally could create a telescope of my own with which I could see the surface of Moon and craters,” he recalled. 

“This was the first time I could see the Moon so closely. The feeling was so indescribable. After that time, I had a bigger passion for observing the universe. Later, I bought components to assemble telescopes which have the same quality as products on the market,” he said.

Pham Hong Chuong, born in 1975, is a member of the Hanoi Astronomy Association (HAS) who has been using telescopes for 15 years. Now he is an expert in building telescopes.

After 15 years of pursuing his dream of observing the solar system, Chuong has built the largest telescope in Vietnam. 

"Currently, the hobby of playing with a telescope is getting more and more popular and attracts many people from schoolboys to middle-aged students," he said.

“Most of them have a common taste of learning astronomy and passion of observing the sky directly. Telescopes allow us to magnify images, see and record many things that they cannot do with the naked eye," he said.

There are many telescope products now available in the market that fit the needs and pockets of everyone. There is a wide range of prices, from hundreds of thousands of dong to billions of dong. 

Telescope owners make friends  and connect each other to create teams and clubs of astronomy lovers. They share experiences about creating telescopes, and talk about how they discovered the universe.

Building observatories

Many people are excited when  observing the sky and seeing celestial objects. The excitement stimulates curiosity and prompts them to discover more things with telescopes and record the universe’s beauty.

More and more people are willing to spend a lot to buy and upgrade telescopes. Some people have even built observatories on their rooftops to satisfy their passion for admiring the universe.

“The more I looked at the universe, the more fascinated I became with my findings. Sometimes I forget to sleep and stay with the telescope to observe the sky. Currently, the furthest object I can observe is Saturn,” Quyen said.

“I can see a constellation of zodiac stars that many young people think don’t exist. In fact, they are very bright and beautiful which can be easily observed every night,” he said, adding that observatories are needed to admire the objects farther away.                                

Nguyen Tran Ha, born in 1989 in Hanoi, has 10 private observatories and owns one of them.

Ha has been pursuing astronomical observations since 2016. However, unlike others, Ha pursues the deep sky, taking pictures of objects beyond the boundaries of the solar system.

“There I can find the wild beauty of the universe. It satisfies my curiosity about the vast universe. These are the most special, and nothing on Earth is comparable,” he said.

Ha also has aspirations to make his contribution to amateur astronomy in Vietnam. He has spent half a billion dong to build an observatory on the terrace of his house.

After finding out how to install and master the device, he learned how to capture nebulae, star clusters, and galaxies.

After many years, Tran Ha has become a well known name among the astrophotography community and some of his works have been chosen by Astrobin as Top Pick.

Ha and a friend are leasing the observatory, and the money from the lease will be spent on charity projects.

Ha Nguyen

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