South East Asia’s first Night Sky Sanctuary in Ladakh to be inaugurated soon

Night Sky Sanctuary
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Government of India with the help of Indian Institute of Astrophysics Bengaluru is setting up South East Asia‘s first Night Sky Sanctuary in Ladakh. The proposed sanctuary is located at Hanle in Ladakh as part of the Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary. It will be one of the world’s highest located sites for optical, infra-red and gamma-ray telescopes.

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Speaking at the inauguration of ‘Ladakh’s Pride’ function in Delhi, Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh informed that Ladakh will soon have South East Asia’s first Night Sky Sanctuary. The Ladakh UT Administration notified the proposed Dark Sky Reserve at Hanle village in Eastern Ladakh in December last year.

Dr Jitendra Singh said, “At a time when the country is celebrating the success of Chandrayaan-3 and Aditya-L1 solar mission, this Dark Sky Reserve will fascinate the stargazers.”

The launch of the Dark Space Reserve was finalized after a tripartite MoU was signed between the Ladakh UT Administration, Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Leh and the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA).

The Night Sky Sanctuary will be a major boost for astro-tourism in India. It will also provide an opportunity for scientists to study the night sky in a pristine environment.

The Minister said that the government is committed to developing Ladakh as a hub for science and technology. He said that the government has already set up several research institutions in Ladakh, including the Indian Astronomical Observatory at Hanle.

Dr. Singh also said that the government is working on a plan to make Ladakh a “Carbon Neutral” place.

About the Night Sky Sanctuary

The Night Sky Sanctuary is a protected area spread over 1073 where light pollution is strictly controlled. It is being set up adjacent to the Indian Astronomical Observatory at Hanle at an elevation of 4500 meters.

This will allow astronomers to observe the night sky without interference from artificial light. This Dark Sky Sanctuary is among only the 15 or 16 of its kind in the world that will offer a spectacular view of the night sky.

The sanctuary will be open to tourists, who will be able to enjoy the spectacular views of the night sky. The sanctuary will also have educational facilities, where visitors can learn about astronomy.

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