India's First-Ever 'Night Sky Sanctuary' To Be Set Up In Ladakh Within Next Three Months, To Boost Astro Tourism

by Swarajya Staff - Sep 3, 2022 02:52 PM +05:30 IST
India's First-Ever 'Night Sky Sanctuary' To Be Set Up In Ladakh Within Next Three Months, To Boost Astro TourismRepresentative Image

In a unique and first-of-its-kind initiative, the Central government's Department of Science and Technology (DST) has undertaken to set up India’s first-ever "Night Sky Sanctuary" in Ladakh which will be completed within next three months, according to an official release.

The proposed Dark Sky Reserve will be located at Hanle in Ladakh as a part of Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary.

The reserve will boost astro tourism in India and will be one of the world’s highest-located sites for optical, infra-red, and gamma-ray telescopes.

The information was made public by Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science and Technology Jitendra Singh after meeting Ladakh Lieutenant Governor R K Mathur, the Science and Technology Ministry said in a release on Saturday (2 September).

Mathur met with the Union Minister in Delhi on Saturday.

Singh informed that a tripartite MoU was signed recently among the the UT administration, Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Leh and the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) for launching the Dark Space Reserve.

He said the site will have activities to help in boosting local tourism and economy through interventions of science and technology.

Singh said that all the stakeholders will jointly work towards the preservation of the night sky from unwanted light pollution and illumination, which is a serious threat to the scientific observations and natural sky conditions.

Hanle is best suited for the project as it is located in Ladakh’s cold desert region, away from any form of human disturbance and clear sky conditions and dry weather conditions exist throughout the year, the minister added.

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