India’s First ‘Night Sky Sanctuary’ To be Set Up In Ladakh

India’s First ‘Night Sky Sanctuary’ To be Set Up In Ladakh

New Delhi, Sep 3 (TNA) In a unique and first-of-its-kind initiative, the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Govt of India, has undertaken to set up India’s first-ever "Night Sky Sanctuary" in Ladakh which will be completed within next three months.

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

This was informed by Union Minister of State Jitendra Singh after meeting Lt. Governor Ladakh R.K. Mathur, who called on him at the national capital today. The Union Minister 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.

It may be noted that 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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