Dark Sky Reserve
- In a first-of-its-kind initiative, the Department of Science & Technology (DST) has announced the setting up of India’s first dark sky reserve at Hanle in Ladakh in the next three months.
Why this location is chosen?
- Hanle which hosts numerous telescopes is considered as ideal location for astronomical observations.
- However, ensuring that the site remains well-suited for astronomy implies keeping the night sky pristine, or ensuring minimal interference to the telescopes from artificial light sources such as electric lights and vehicular lights from the ground.
What is Dark Sky Reserve?
- The International Dark Sky Association which is a U.S.-based non-profit organization that designates this status to places as international dark sky places, parks, sanctuaries and reserves, depending on the criteria they meet.
- This is the first site in India which has received this status.
- The Union Territory administration, the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Leh, and the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bengaluru had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
- Under this they had agreed upon using and maintaining the telescopes, for launching the dark space reserve.
- After getting this tag, the region can promote Astro-Tourism, the local population which stay in the surrounding villages would be encouraged to promote homestays equipped with telescopes that visitors can use to view the night sky.
- This can boost the local economy by providing employment through Astro-tourism.
- This would also help in inculcating scientific temper among the people in the region as those regions hugely lag behind in many social parameters
SOURCE: THE HINDU
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