India’s first night sky sanctuary in Ladakh in next three months: Minister
New Delhi: India’s first-ever “night sky sanctuary” will be set up in Ladakh within the next three months, Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh said on Saturday.
The proposed Dark Sky Reserve will be located at Hanle in Ladakh as a part of Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary and will be one of the world’s highest-located sites for optical, infra-red, and gamma-ray telescopes, Singh said.
The Union minister made these remarks after a meeting with Ladakh Lt. Governor R K Mathur here.
He said the dark sky reserve site will have activities to help in boosting local tourism and economy through interventions of Science and Technology.
Singh said a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed recently by the Union Territory administration, Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Leh and the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) for launching the Dark Sky Reserve.
The minister said 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 scientific observations and natural sky conditions.
He said Hanle was 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.