A week under the stars

Alain DORESSOUNDIRAM spent part of his childhood in Kourou. It was there that his passion for space was born and it would never leave him. The presence of the Guiana Space Centre was a contributing factor. Today, he is an astrophysicist and teacher-researcher at the Paris Observatory, specialising in small bodies in the solar system and infrared observation. He is also in charge of an instrument on the space mission to Mercury, Bepi Colombo. He teaches at undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as in teacher training. He is the author of more than 110 scientific articles in international journals, as well as about a hundred communications in conferences. He is also very involved in the promotion of scientific and astronomical culture for young people, and the author of several popularisation books.

Alain Doressoundiram was at the lycée all week to meet our LFRD students. He led several workshops with CM1, CM2, 6e, 4e, and all the students of the secondary school. A great teacher, he constantly adapted his speech to the level of the students and was surprised to see that they knew so much about space, the stars and the plane

On Thursday 16 February 2023 evening, he also gave a lecture to present “the latest news from the cosmos”, providing clear and precise information on space exploration. Many people attended this lecture and even some ‘non-scientists’ appreciated the simplicity and pedagogy of the explanations. He then answered all the questions he was asked: what is a black hole? is there life on other planets? Can an asteroid hit the Earth like the dinosaurs?

At the end of this evening, thanks to the telescopes of Sorya Yin and Jiper Duran, two amateur astronomers from Phnom Penh, we were able to observe Mars, Capela and Orion despite some clouds.

After this week in Phnom Penh, Alain Doressoundiram will go to Vietnam for a series of courses at the Technical University of Hanoi, but he promises to return to Cambodia.