The newly established Cyprus astronomy and space academy which was inaugurated on January 3, aims to contribute to international research and aid astrotourism in Cyprus, the Cyprus Mail reports.
The official opening took place at the Science & Space café in Nicosia. Transport Minister Marios Demetriades who was present at the launch said it marked a step towards strengthening the new field of astronomy in Cyprus.
“When I took over the ministry, there was stagnation in this area in which the EU invests more and more funds as it considers it important for the future. There are countries like the UK who believe that the space sector is one of the major areas that can bring development to the country,” he said.
He pointed out it could bring growth to the economy and assured his audience that he would support the academy, adding it doesn’t only have to do with planets, but also with technology such as satellites for surveillance, information on fires, and more.
According to the Cyprus Mail, astrophysist Stelios Tsangarides was appointed president of the academy.
“Astrophysics is something that happens because people look at the sky and try to study scientifically the night sky, the sun, all the bodies of all the systems beyond the earth and from the love and curiosity of man about what is up there,” he said accepting the appointment.
He concluded his speech by saying that so far Cyprus had not contributed significantly to international research, something that he hopes is going to change with the establishment of the new academy.
At the launch, the founder of the Science Cafe Giorgos Tzivas talked about the idea of creating the cafe, which aims at generating a scientific stimulus for young people who are “stuck” on their mobile phones.
“Today, one year after the launching of the Science Cafe programme, we are in a position to argue with great satisfaction that the issue of promoting astronomy and space in Cyprus has come out of the inactivity of the previous period, during which individual teams were struggling to promote star-watching in Cyprus,” he said.
He announced the first observatory in Troodos, which was decided on in 2016, would start to be built in April. This would give Cypriot astronomers the chance to live and work in Cyprus while it would promote astrotourism in the country, which has more than 200 days and nights of clear skies.