LEH, Aug 31: A Ladakh-based engineer has become the first Indian Honorary Member of International Astronomical Union (IAU) along with ten others from around the world, joining a select list of 20 international experts.
Dorje Angchuk of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, an autonomous institute of the Department of Science & Technology, Govt of India, is also the first Indian to bag the position in the prestigious body.
This honour is meant to officially recognise those individuals who have significantly contributed to the progress of astronomical research and culture in their country. The recognition by IAU is for ‘his passionate promotion of astronomy in Ladakh region, through his excellent astrophotography’.
A handout stated that Angchuk is the Engineer In-charge of the IIA’s Indian Astronomical Observatory in Hanle, Ladakh.
“Stemming from my childhood interest in astronomy, sparked by looking at Saturn through a telescope, and later, seeing the Comet Hale Bopp, I developed a strong passion for astrophotography,” said Dorje Angchuk. This passion further blossomed when he joined Indian Astronomy Observatory in Hanle in Ladakh.
Angchuk’s astro-photographs have inspired innumerable students and the general public.
His work combines the majestic beauty of the dark skies with the stunning enchantment of the landscape of Ladakh. His photographs of the telescopes at Hanle fore grounded against the Milky Way have become famous across the country.
His photos also highlight the telescopes in Hanle in ways that intrigue school and college students. His work has been published in the New York magazine, Association of Asia Pacific Physical Societies and many newspapers in India.
His photograph of Comet Neowise won the nationwide contest by the Astronomical Society of India as well.
Ladakh engineer becomes first Indian to be inducted as Honorary Member of IAU