Country to get its first ever space observatory
It is heartening to note that Bangladesh government is planning to build its first ever space observatory, in association with the Bangladesh Space Research and Remote Sensing Organization (SPARSSO). The observatory is to be named Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Space Observatory Centre, and is to be built in Bhanga upazila, Faridpur.
The proposal has been accepted by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and the Tk 213 crore project is expected to begin under the authority of Ministry of Science and Technology. This observatory will be built on 10 acres of land, with a five-storey circular building with reflector telescopes, classrooms, laboratories, office rooms, and accommodation facilities.
It's also breaking news for the astrophysics lovers and star gazers. In the age of science and technology, we need to compete with the rest of the world and thus, we need to focus on space and astrophysics studies.
Governments of other nations around the world and large corporate houses are investing billions in this sector. Our next door neighbour has 10 space observatories.
But the authority concerned must make sure that the observatory is equipped with state-of-the-art gadgetry such as telescope, optical gamma ray telescope, and open access for students and researchers or anyone with an interest in space and astrophysics.
Previously we have seen that people of our country have thirst for space studies and what lies beyond this planet, and the popularity of the Novo Theatre in Dhaka is evidence to that.
We are hopeful that Bangladesh might one day play some part in these ambitious space projects we are witnessing. But for that to happen, first we must inspire the young generation to come forward.
Very recently a Bangladeshi astrophysicist ranked sixth among the top ten scientists of the year 2020 for her outstanding work and research on black holes. Her outstanding performance shows that people of our country are turning enthusiastic about this particular area.
In order to promote astrophysics and astronomy, we can introduce new courses in our educational institutions. In our country, we do not have any opportunity to obtain any higher degree in astrophysics. Therefore, it is high time to introduce subjects like astrophysics, astronomy and planetary sciences. We can also establish an institute of astrophysics for more advanced research.
A nation only strengthens the prospects of its next generations by getting them interested in science. Investing in looking into the cosmos and outer space will have tangible benefits down here on Earth. It will be a treat for those curious minds who spends hours after hours looking at the stars and going for virtual tours in outer space via NASA's website.
Lastly, we must explore other places where we can further establish another observatory. For example, Bandarban could be a suitable place where stargazing would be much clearer because of its altitude. Again, keeping in mind its popularity as a potential tourist destination, it will attract more people as well.