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Shoot for the stars in Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: Things are looking up for the Land Below the Wind as it has been named as one of the must-go places for stargazers or astronomers.

For instance, the travel site TripZilla in a posting six months ago listed Sabah as among the nine best places for stargazing in Asia.

Another site, #HHWT, which stands for Have Halal Will Travel, put up a posting last year on “Asia’s Top 10 Magical Stargazing Spots Will Leave You Starstruck”, and Sabah was on the list.

Sabah Tourism, Art and Culture Ministry director Ag Ahmad Abu Zaki said the skies of Sabah were still clear enough and free from light pollution, which was why it had an advantage.

Ahmad said the acknowledgement of Sabah as one of the best places for stargazing in Asia had also boosted the state’s potential in astronomy.

As part of the ministry’s efforts to introduce astronomy to industry players in Sabah, it recently organised a course on astronomy at Usukan Cove in Kota Belud.

The three-day course organised together with other related agencies was to introduce participants to the wonders in the sky.

“We teach them to understand and identify stars and other objects in the sky before capturing and editing the images,” Ahmad said.

He said the 30 participants comprising photographers and media personnel, among others, were eager to learn about the Milky Way.

Participants woke up as early as 3am and stayed up late just to get the best images.

Among some of the objects seen were constellations such as Orion, Scorpius, Taurus, Canis Major, Pleiades and light pillars.

Tourism Malaysia director for Sabah, Jamilah Abdul Halim, said the agency always supported unique and creative tourism products.

“There are actually quite a huge number of astronomy enthusiasts. And they are also people who love taking pictures,” Jamilah said.

Source: The Star Online | Sep 13, 2018