Astronomical observatory planned for Nadur

Government and University of Malta to invest €160,000 in telescope that will have specialised photographic capabilities 

Gnien ta' Sopu is a Dark Sky Heritage Area
Gnien ta' Sopu is a Dark Sky Heritage Area

The government alongside the University of Malta have invested €160,000 to start operating an astronomical observatory at Gnien ta' Sopu in Nadur, Gozo.

A telescope furnished with specialised photographic capabilities will be used to obtain information on celestial objects relatively close to Earth, a government statement read on Wednesday.

"Astronomical studies require little light pollution and areas in Gozo host a number of spots designated as Dark Sky Heritage Areas. One of these spots is in Nadur, which will welcome the new telescope," the government said.

Astrophysicist Joseph Caruana from the University of Malta said that such a project would serve as a tool for students and researchers of astrophysics and will result in collaborations with other scientists outside of Malta. 

"Astronomy is often described as the oldest science in the world; from the very beginning, human beings looked up at the sky and asked questions about the universe, asked about their origins. It's a topic that continues to bewitch people of all ages and this observatory will help train our sense of curiosity," Caruana said.

Gozo minister Justyne Caruana said that astronomical science is growing in importance.

"Sites like Dwejra, Fanal tal-Gordan, which is being restored, and now Gnien ta' Sopu in Nadur attract many people around the world to observe stellar movements and other astronomical phenomena," she said.

The University of Malta thanked the government for its commitment to install such a telescope.

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