Lapan to build observatory with largest telescope in SE Asia

Kupang, E Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA News) - A national observatory being built in the mountains of Timau, Amfoang Tengah sub-district, Kupang district, East Nusa Tenggara Province, would be the largest observatory with a 3.8 meters telescope in the Southeast Asian region.

Head of the Center for Space Science of the Indonesian National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (Lapan) Clara Yono Yatini said, during the dissemination of information on the observatory development plan in Amfoang Tengah sub-district, on Monday that the telescope would be the largest in the Southeast Asian region.

According to Yatini, the central government has allocated a budget of Rp500 billion for the observatory construction in the mountains of Timau, Kupang district, to speed up the development in the eastern region of Indonesia.

"The observatorys presence would bring the worlds attention to Kupang district, East Nusa Tenggara Province. Hence, the local residents should support the construction plan of this mega project," she added.

She stated that the telescope would be built at a length of 3.8 meters using technology from abroad in order to help see clearly the conditions of outer space.

"While another telescope of Lapan at the Observatory in Bosca, Lembang, West Java Province, has a length of 60 centimeters only, the telescope being built in East Nusa Tenggara Province would be built at a length of 3.8 meters and will have an enormous capability," she noted.

She added that researchers from all over the world would be allowed to obtain more information by using the telescope to observe the sky and space.

"It takes three years to build the telescope," she remarked.

The telescope, with a length of 3.8 meters, would be an attraction for astronomers from different countries in the world to do research on the space in Timau mountains from all directions, she stated.

"Moreover, the sky above the mountains of Timau looks very good, so it will be the main attraction for researchers coming to East Nusa Tenggara to conduct research on space," she noted.

She added that the presence of researchers from various countries would become the impetus for the citizens in Amfoang Tengah sub-district to boost local economic activities and develop the areas.

"The researchers would be in the areas of Timau for doing research on space," she said.(*)

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