A Coimbatore workforce is again from their first go to to Hanle Darkish Sky Reserve in Ladakh

The Milky Way at night sky in Hanle

The Milky Approach at night time sky in Hanle
| Photograph Credit score: Akshay Satish

A surprising view of the Milky Approach in a 180 diploma arc extending from the South to the North on the night time sky in Hanle, Ladakh, India’s first darkish sky reserve, is an unforgettable reminiscence for a bunch of younger college students from Coimbatore. “Each inch of the darkish sky was stuffed with stars, star clusters and constellations. It was magical,” recollects Akshay Sathish (18). A workforce of 11 youngsters led by Obuli Chandran, founding father of Mango Training and astronomy educator Mihir Athale are simply again from their first expedition to Ladakh the place they noticed a spectacular view of the night time sky at Hanle. “We educate astronomy to college students who’ve a ardour for it. Together with concept, we have now carried out a number of star gazing journeys within the South to locations like Mudumalai, Hasanur and Udhagamandalam the place the skies are clear and there may be very much less gentle air pollution. That is our first journey with youngsters to the Himalayas,” says Obuli.

The team at Hanle with Dorje Angchuk

The workforce at Hanle with Dorje Angchuk
| Photograph Credit score:
Swati Karkare

A lot earlier than it grew to become a darkish sky reserve, Hanle was picked by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics to arrange an observatory owing to its dry and chilly climate. The high-altitude Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO) situated there at 14,764 ft, is among the highest observatories on the planet. “The IAO is a area station of IIA, Bengaluru,” says Dorje Angchuk, chief engineer in-charge at IAO, Hanle. “Our agenda is scientific analysis for the skilled astronomer. These days, we have now been venturing into outreach,” says Dorje including that yearly, college students from faculties in and round Leh go to the reserve as part of area journeys. Alongside together with his workforce, he has spent effort and time in orienting the locals to the wonders of astronomy.

The reserve has augmented services for night-time astronomy. After solar down, astronomy lovers carry out their cameras and tripods and what follows is star hopping all via the night time. “I’ve been learning astronomy for six years and my fascination with the night time sky has elevated after the go to to Hanle,” says Rishi Chander (16). For R N Vishnuvardhan (10), the youngest within the workforce, it was a first-time expertise the place he might catch a glimpse of the Andromeda Galaxy with out utilizing a telescope.

Nomadic Festival

Nomadic Competition
| Photograph Credit score:
Obuli Chandran

Whereas there, the workforce additionally acquired to expertise the nomadic life-style and traditions of the folks of the area on the Nomadic Competition 2023 at Hanle village in Changthang district. “We might see a number of the better of cultural performances, the place cultural troupes from completely different villages in Changthang offered dance, songs and conventional sports activities. Nomadic communities in Ladakh lead a difficult however self-sufficient life-style, adapting to the tough weather conditions and excessive altitudes. They’ve a deep reference to nature and preserve a robust sense of neighborhood and cultural id,” says Mihir.

The workforce additionally acquired a possibility to go to the Druk Padma Karpo Faculty in Ladakh that options within the Aamir Khan-starrer 3 Idiots. Moreover the night time sky, the workforce additionally recall breathtaking views of cool blue lakes, snow-capped mountains, and a rejuvenating dip at Chumathang sizzling spring that bubbles from the bottom close to the banks of the ice-cold Indus River.

Dorje says they need to use astronomy to advertise curiosity in science amongst college students. “Being a distant observatory, Hanle is a tough place to go to because it includes numerous journey and college students are topic to AMS because of excessive altitude. Any group coming from the plains must be acclimatised for at least two days earlier than they will go to the observatory. We need to construct pleasure in astronomy with visits to such services and likewise give them an perception on the type of instrumentation used for a similar throughout day time together with a presentation of the analysis work carried on the market,” he says, including, “The target is to make the pristine darkish skies, a coveted vacation spot for college students.”

The Hanle Darkish Sky Reserve is accessible all year long. For particulars on planning a visit from Coimbatore, name 9952243541/ 9894167141.

Leave a Comment