Students of Cartography and Remote Sensing, Mousafi Dimas Afrizal, Febrina Ramadhani Yusuf, Ruwanda Prasetya, and Wahyu Nurbandi, from Faculty of Geography UGM, under the guidance of lecturer Muhammad Kamal, S.Si., M.GIS., Ph.D, have made a research for the Student Creativity Programme for Research to determine locations potential for astronomical tourism development.
"Astronomical tourism is observation of outer space objects using equipment or just the eye. The observation, however, cannot be done at places randomly, particularly if that place has high light pollution,” said Wahyu Nurbandi at UGM on Monday (13/6).
Wahyu hoped researching the location would be able to help the government, communities and society in developing astronomical tourism, pionering to boost Indonesian astronomy. "The research outcomes will be presented in maps, displaying which areas are potential for astronomical tourism,” said Wahyu.
Ruwanda Prasetya explained the research used parameters, such as light pollution level, cloud coverage, and land use. They used remote sensing data of VIIRS DNB Free Cloud Composite and land use maps. Pre-field analysis was conducted with geographic information system using overlay method between parameters. The analysis showed a number of locations in Yogyakarta and Central Java that are potential for astronomical tourism.
"We have observed several locations, such as Gajah Mungkur Dam and the Depok Beach, they are potential for astronomical tourism, but this has yet to be investigated,” said Ruwanda.
Ruwanda explained during the observation done in both areas from 00.30 - 03.00 hours, they could clearly see the Scorpion, Wolf, Altar, Sea Goat, and other constellations. Space dusts and stellar phenomenon are also plenty in the sky while planets such as Mars and Saturn can be easily identified by the naked eye.
"We concluded that those locations are the right locations, because the light pollution there is very low, cloud coverage is small, and the land is empty from buildings, making the astronomical observation easy to do,” Ruwanda added.