India’s first “dark sky reserve” in Ladakh
The Department of Science and Technology has announced that it is going to establish a Dark sky reserve at Hanle in Ladakh. Hanley is one of the world’s most optimal sites for the study of astronomy and space. It is situated 4,500m above sea level. The Dark sky reserve will be set up in three months according to the Department of Science and Technology.
It is the first time that India will have a dark sky reserve. Before that there was no dark sky reserve situated in the country. It will help to promote tourism and give an opportunity to the residents of the villages near Hanley to contribute to the economy of the country.
What is Dark sky reserve?
The international Dark sky association which is based in the US and it is a non profit organization indicates the places around the world which satisfy the condition to be a dark sky reserve. There are many dark sky reserves across the world but none so far in India.
A dark sky reserve is a place where the interference of artificial and vehicular lights is minimal and has other qualities such as cloudless sky, low atmospheric water vapours and more.
Hanley in Ladakh is the first place in India which has been recognised as a dark sky reserve in the country.
Why at Hanley?
Hanley is regarded as one the most opt for and optimal sites for astronomy observation and it is also the only optimal site in India for astronomical study. It is 4,500m above sea level. The clearest sky, minimal interference for the telescopes from the artificial lights, keeping the night sky pristine, low atmospheric water vapours and other optimal qualities make it a suitable place for astronomical study. That’s why the Department of Science and Technology has chosen this site to set up India’s first Dark sky reserve.
Why is it important?
This is a very great opportunity for India to make place among those space research countries. This project will help in the exploration of space and pave the way for new observations.
It will also boost local tourism and contribute to the growth of the economy through the interventions in science and technology. It will encourage astro- tourism and give the opportunity to the people who live nearby villages in Hanley such that they can use their residences as homestay for tourists. It will be a great experience for people who come as tourists to see the night sky with the help of telescopes.
The Union Territory Administration, the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council and the Indian Institute of Astrophysics,in June 2022, signed a memorandum of understanding for the set up of the dark sky reserve at Hanley in Ladakh. It has been estimated that the construction will be completed in three months. It is a great project for space innovation and astro-tourism.
Questions And Answers:
Q1. Who has announced the dark sky reserve?
Ans. Department of Science and Technology.
Q2. Where will be the dark sky reserve situated?
Q3. Hanley is situated in which Union Territory?