Context: To promote astrological tourism, scientists will identify and train locals to use telescopes for purpose of sky night gazing, locating pole stars and identify constellations.

About Dark Sky Reserve:

  • It is a public or private land with distinguished nocturnal environment and starry nights that has been developed responsibly to prevent light pollution.

Do you Know?

About Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary:

  • This sanctuary is home to a diversity of flora and fauna and is spread over an area of 1,600 sq km. It is located in the Ladakhi Changthang Plateau in the Leh district of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The world’s highest village is located in Ladakhi Changthang Plateau.
  • World’s highest lake, Tso Moriri is also located in Changthang Plateau.

Designation of Site as Dark Sky Reserve:

  • Individuals or groups can nominate a site for certification to the International Dark Sky Association (IDSA). There are five designated categories, Dark Sky Parks, Sanctuaries, Urban Night Sky places, communities.
  • In last 20 years, there have been 195 sites which are recognized as International Dark Sky Places globally.

Do you know?

  • Light Pollution is artificial brightening of night sky by man-made lightening sources, which has disruptive effect on natural cycles and inhibits the observation of stars and planets.
  • The brightening of night sky over inhabited areas because of security floodlights cause the Skyglow.
  • The Skyglow affects the nocturnal organisms which mislead their path.

India’s First Dark Sky Reserve:

  • Hanle Dark Sky Reserve will be established in Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary. Ladakh Union Territory Administration is leading efforts in establishing the country’s first Dark Sky Reserve.

Reasons for choosing Ladakh for project:

  • Ladakh is a unique cold desert about 3,000 metres above sea level with high mountainous terrains. Aridity, limited vegetation, high elevation, and large areas with sparse population-making it perfect for long term observatory and dark sky places.