Our astronomical expertise enthrals Thailand’s royalty

18 July 2018

Dr Mark Thompson, Dean of School of Physics, Astronomy and Mathematics, meets Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand to discuss the building project for the Thai National Radio Observatory.

Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand visited the UK on 5 July 2018 to hear about her country’s close astronomical links with a number of British universities. Her Royal Highness heard about a University of Hertfordshire-led partnership with the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (NARIT).

Thailand is planning a major investment in radio astronomy, with the development of a new 40m diameter radio telescope over the next five years. The Capacity Building for Thai Radio Astronomy NARIT-STFC Newton Fund Collaboration aims to provide graduate and postgraduate training and technical support for the Thai National Radio Observatory Astronomy. This project, which has been funded by the Science and Technologies Funding Council (STFC), will help plug the country’s skills shortage.

Dr Mark Thompson, Dean of School of Physics, Astronomy and Mathematics, at the University of Hertfordshire was there to greet Her Royal Highness: 'It was a real pleasure to meet Her Royal Highness and speak with Her about our capacity building project for the Thai National Radio Observatory. We’re really glad to be able to accelerate radio astronomy development in Thailand and deepen the links between our two countries.'

As part of her visit, Her Royal Highness, who is a keen astronomer, toured the Jodrell Bank Observatory at the University of Manchester and visited the headquarters of the Square Kilometre Array, an international effort to build the world’s largest radio telescope over two sites in South Africa and Australia.

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