Islamabad to have observatory, space museum in Shakarparian

An observatory and space museum will be established in Shakarparian, Islamabad by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST), to help resolve the moonsighting issue and provide astronomers an opportunity to study the and celestial bodies.

According to the details, a site has been approved by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) Board to set up the observatory after a request was made by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST). It will be established on the location of a fountain near Pakistan Monument.

Dr Fazeel Mahmood Khan, Associate Professor of Space Science at the Institute of Space Technology said “This will be the first observatory focusing western views of moonsighting”.

Dr Fazeel is providing technical expertise to the ministry for the establishment of the project. He shared that the project would be helpful for “sighting the moon, facilitating researchers and creating awareness among students of science and space technology”.

A summary had also been approved recently in this regard allowing the ministry to go forth with the project. The summary stated, “The Ministry of Science and Technology has started a pioneer initiative to establish an observatory in Shakarparian Hill Park which will enable students, researchers and general public to observe moon and other celestial bodies. This observatory will also settle the long-standing issue of moon sighting in Ramazan.”

It also said that the ground floor will be utilized for the museum and a display screen connected to a telescope would be made available to facilitate the public.

As per the summary, MoST and Institute of Space Technology would be two main bodies that will execute the project and will run the observatory. The summary has been approved by CDA, while the cost of the project is yet to be decided.

After the cost calculation it will sent to the government for final approval.

As per reports, the ministry of science and technology has also requested other provinces to explore options to establish observatories and for that the ministry would provide them technical support as well.

Reference: pk.mashable.com

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