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Ladakh will become home to India’s first night sky sanctuary, boosting astronomy tourism

In an effort to increase Astrotourism in the nation and draw foreign academics to the area to study with high-altitude telescopes, India’s first night sky sanctuary will be built in Ladakh.

The projected Dark Sky Reserve would be established by the Department of Science and Technology at Hanle in Ladakh as a part of the Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary.

The facility will have optical, infrared, and gamma-ray telescopes at one of the highest elevations in the entire planet. Following a meeting between Lt. Governor of Ladakh RK Mathur and Science and Technology Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh, the announcement was made.

Recently, a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), and the Union Territory Administration for the establishment of the Dark Space Reserve.

The facility will also have activities aimed at boosting local tourism and the economy.

With the announcement, a high-level delegation of scientists and representatives from the Central Leather Research Institute in Chennai will travel to Ladakh by the end of this year to investigate the possibility of establishing a regional branch of CLRI given that the UT has a very rich and varied population of animals for leather research and the industry, as well as to promote the bio-economy of products made from animal skin.


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