First night sky sanctuary in Ladakh for improving astro tourism

Wednesday, September 7, 2022


The first night sky sanctuary will be created in Ladakh for improving astro tourism in India and for luring foreign researchers to work with high-altitude telescopes in the region.

The Department of Science and Technology will be creating the planned Dark Sky Reserve at Hanle region of Ladakh as part of the Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary.

The sanctuary will be one of the highest-located places of the world for optical, infrared and gamma-ray telescopes. This statement is after a conference between Science & Technology minister Dr. Jitendra Singh and Lt. Governor Ladakh RK Mathur.

A tripartite MoU was inked of late between the Union Territory Administration, Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Leh, and the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) regarding initiating the Dark Space Reserve.

The sanctuary will also have activities focused toward increasing domestic tourism and the economy. Dr. Jitendra Singh said that all the stakeholders will cooperatively work regarding the conservation of the night sky from undesirable light pollution and brightness, which is a grave concern for scientific experiments and natural sky environments.

Hanle is located in Ladakh’s cold desert region. The place is far from any kind of human commotion with clear sky and dry weather conditions persisting throughout the year.

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