In the afternoon of February 22nd, 2023, International University organized the Workshop called “Capturing and Studying Black Holes, Astronomy” with Prof. Paul T. P. Ho – General Director of East Asian Observatory (one of the 8 observatories participating in the first capture of a black hole). The talk was interpreted by Assoc. Prof. Phan Bao Ngoc – Chair of Department of Physics, IU-VNU-HCM.

The talk attracted approximately 170 high schoolers and more than 50 students from IU and Universities of VNU-HCM who shared great interest in Astronomy.

4 years ago, in his business trip to HCM City, Prof. Paul Ho shared with IU Astronomy lovers the photo of the M87 black hole. 4 years later, he got to meet and talk to many high schoolers of HCM City and students from IU and Universities of VNU-HCM about his journey in capturing the black hole and the potential of Asian Observatories, especially in Vietnam, in this field.

On behalf of the organizers, Assoc. Prof. Tran Tien Khoa – President of IU – delivered the lovely bouquet to Prof. Paul Ho.

In his sharing about the capture of the black hole, Prof. Ho said that besides 200 researchers, many observatories across the globe had to spend dozens of years developing the technology and instruments necessary to work on this project. During this process, lots of research on novel materials and advances in Big Data have brought great changes to society. This is also one of the major concerns in Space Engineering major at the Department of Physics – IU-VNU-HCM.

Assoc. Prof. Phan Bao Ngoc – Chair of Department of Physics, IU-VNU-HCM, the event’s interpreter, together with Prof. Paul Ho provided the audience with many takeaways from the black hole’s capture and astronomy.

Furthermore, Prof. Paul Ho mentioned the importance of Asian observatories in studying and capturing of black holes. Moreover, he emphasized the advantages of Vietnam in becoming a crucial observatory of the area. Specifically, talking about Vietnam’s economic potential, he pointed out that in recent years, the country annual GPD reached more than 70% despite the difficulties during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Then, he answered the questions from the high schoolers and IU students. The discussion’s atmosphere was lively thanks to the interesting questions from the audience and the enthusiastic responses from Prof. Paul Ho.

Vu Anh Minh, a student of 12LH class, Nguyen Huu Huan Highschool, shared his thoughts after the event: “The speech which was filled with tons of interesting information has sparked the passion for many pupils and students with interest in astronomy. It also helps them get the importance of fundamental sciences in the advanced development of novel inventions during the exploration and conquest of space.”

After listening to the workshop, many of the audience raised some interesting questions to Prof. Paul Ho.

In the end, Prof. Paul Ho expressed his wish to work with Vietnam and International University – VNU-HCM in building and advancing observatories in Vietnam, which assist research in Astronomy. He emphasized that: “I always believe in the future generation’s potential in advancing astronomical research. You need to believe that the world will be a better place.”

Prof. Paul Ho in a photo with more than 200 students and pupils participating in the workshop, marking a successful event.

The workshop is part of a specialized series by International University with a view to building a quality curriculum, updating advanced science-engineering knowledge, and providing participants with many useful pieces of information.