World Wide Development in Astronomy (WWDA) Visit to Brunei Darussalam

Report by Boonrucksar Soonthornthum, National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand, Ministry of Science & Technology, Thailand

Source: IAU Information Bulletin 109 (Download)

Background Information

Brunei Darussalam is a small Kingdom in South-East Asia located on the northern shore of the island of Borneo. The state’s major industry on petroleum makes Brunei Darussalam a prosperous and progressive country, with a population of approximately 400,000 (July 2010). Brunei has the second highest Human Development Index among South East Asia nations, after Singapore, and is classified as a Developed Country.

Boonrucksar Soonthornthum visited Brunei Darussalam during July 13-19, 2011 and Hakim Malasan, during July 16-19, 2011, with the following objectives:

  • To introduce the roles of South-East Asian countries for promoting and supporting the missions of World Wide Development in Astronomy (WWDA)
  • To introduce the recent development of Astronomy in South-East Asia especially the initiation of South-East Asian Astronomy Network (SEAAN) and the establishment of the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand, which will serve as a national institute in astronomy in Thailand and one of the center for the international collaboration in astronomy in the South-East Asian countries
  • To promote the activity on the International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA) and encourage Brunei Darussalam to organise a national competition on Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad and send the national team to join the IOAA
  • To explore the astronomical activities organised in Brunei Darussalam, to promote astronomy to this country and to seek for the possible future collaboration both astronomy education and research

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Member of International Astronomical Union Meets PABD

Professor Boonrucksar Soonthornthum (IAU) with members of the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam
Professor Boonrucksar Soonthornthum (IAU) with members of the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam
Professor Boonrucksar Soonthornthum (IAU) with members of the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam
Professor Boonrucksar Soonthornthum (IAU) with members of the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam
Professor Boonrucksar Soonthornthum (IAU) with members of the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam
Professor Boonrucksar Soonthornthum (IAU) with members of the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam

Above: Professor Boonrucksar Soonthornthum (IAU) with members of the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam. More Photos.

Bandar Seri Begawan – Brunei Darussalam Astronomical Society had a discussion with Professor Boonrucksar Soonthornthum, Director of National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (NARIT), yesterday afternoon (16 July 2011).

Among the purposes of the meeting is to promote astronomy education and popularizing astronomy in this country. Boonrucksar who is also the national members of International Astronomy Union (IAU) wishes the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam, and Brunei in general, to establish cooperation with South-East Asian Astronomy Network (SEAAN). This network serves South-East Asian countries to collaborate and strengthen Astronomical research activities in this region.

Briefing on the International Astronomy Union information is also presented by Professor Boonrucksar Soonthornthum. He explained that “Thailand has become a national member of the IAU in 2006 and currently there are 70 countries or national members.” Currently, Brunei has not been a candidate to become the member of the IAU.

A report summary on Education and Popularisation of Astronomy Session in 10th Asia Pacific Regional IAU Meeting (APRIM). Brunei was reported having no Astronomers.
A report summary on Education and Popularisation of Astronomy Session in 10th Asia Pacific Regional IAU Meeting (APRIM). Brunei was reported having no Astronomers.

Download a full report documents_aprim2008

NARIT has a number of modern observatories. Among them is the Thai National Observatory is located in the Province of Chiang Mai houses a 2.4 meter telescope. Attract also established five fruits and k. Public Observatories One of the prototype is located in Southern Thailand (about the same latitude as Brunei) and Professor Boonrucksar Suggested that this observatoy to be one of the research center for Islamic Astronomy. These observatories are expected to be in operation in 2012, next year.

Present at the meeting were Exco PABD: Dk Ratna (Treasurer), Hj Julaihi (Deputy Secretary-I), Pg Shahdani (Deputy Secretary II) and Dyg Salmah (Exco member). Also participating in the discussions is Dr Dr Hj Norarfan Hj Zainal, Deputy Raes of Seri Begawan Religious Teachers University College (Kupu SB).

Download a full report IAU Information Bulletin Jan 2012 (Source http://www.iau.org/static/publications/IB109.pdf)