Sign in Register
Posted On: 2 June 2013 11:05 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:13 pm

Qatar set to boost space exploration programme

Discuss here!
Start a discussion
Qatar is boosting its space exploration programme in a bid to discover more planets, setting up new observatories in Asia, Europe and America, the country’s leading astronomer Dr Khalid al-Subai has said. About $5m will be pumped into the country’s Exoplanet Survey, a research program that searches for unidentified planets in other solar systems, while a further $1m will be spend on promoting astronomy within Qatar and the region, Gulf Times has reported. The new observatories will be established in New Mexico, where Qatar already has a station, the Canary Islands and either India or Iraq, al-Subai, Qatar’s first professional astronomer, said. Al-Subai was instrumental in the discovery of Qatar-1b, a giant Jupiter-like exoplanet, meaning it revolves around a star in a galaxy other than Earth. The exoplanet is significantly larger than any planet within Earth’s solar system and has a temperature of more than 1000C. At the time of the discovery, al-Subai, who is the director of research in the Research and Development division of Qatar Foundation, said it was a great achievement for Qatar’s space program and marked the beginning of a “new era of collaborative astrophysics research” between Qatar, the UK and the US, who also participated in the discovery of Qatar-1b. Al-Subai said the new observatories would help speed up the discovery of new exoplanets. The expansion also meant Qatar would hire more astronomers to boost its present team of three.