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Pandemic brings out Asia's stargazers

Movement to preserve pristine locations for looking at the night sky is gathering pace

Founded in 1988, the International Dark-Sky Association sees its main goal as encouraging "communities, parks and protected areas around the world to preserve and protect dark sites through responsible lighting policies and public education."   © Reuters

PANGONG TSO, India -- The night sky was magical: an inky black background studded with stars, glinting and twinkling in rhythm, as if taking cues from a silent orchestra.

A thick hush hung in the air above the sprawling Pangong Tso Lake, its rippling surface awash with an ethereal glow and countless tiny pricks of reflected light. It was a celestial show without comparison at this brackish water body that spans India's eastern Ladakh region across to west Tibet at 4,225 meters above sea level.

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