Sky Gate Telescope In Wadi Rum

 In September 2013, “Sky Gate” was unveiled to the public in Wadi Rum in Jordan. Sky Gate a project that is designed not only to educate scientists, students and tourists on astronomy but also helps alleviate poverty and stimulate tourism in the region , particularly in Jordan.
Wadi Rum Sky Gate observatory was established by a grant from the USAID/Aqaba Community and Economic Development Program to the Aqaba Astronomy Association in order to provide a new attraction for Wadi Rum and add value to the tourism sector in southern Jordan.
Wadi Rum SkyGate 5
The Sky Gate telescope was developed as a scientific, cultural, and tourism development project that will enhance the Wadi Rum visitor experience and attract international and local tourists to spend the night camping in the desert. Moreover, the project trained a group of  local Bedouins to conduct stargazing tours and assist visitors in operating the telescope. The telescope is available for tourists and residents who want to stargaze in the desert, a location that provides an optimal viewing experience due to the lack of light pollution.
 Wadi Rum SkyGate 8
Unfortunately, during my tens of times visit for camping at Wadi Rum and during the Jeep tours at the valley , I noticed that the Sky Gate project is closed and no one is present at the site at Rum to assist tourists and visitors and to get benefit on what this gate was planned for … I even asked many people from the locals at the area and  all of them admitted that , the telescope was open once (at opening day ) , and no one came back to the site afterwards ,,, What a shame ! Thousands of dollars  was invested not in the wrong place, because Wadi Rum is the best place for watching the sky , camping , enjoying the peaceful and beautiful mountains , but it  is clear that it was given to the wrong people …

 

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