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Egypt to Unveil ‘Sinai’ Astronomical Observatory: a New Milestone for Astronomical Research in the Middle East

February 21, 2024

Under the auspices of Dr. Ayman Ashour, the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, the National Institute for Astronomical and Geophysical Research has started constructing a groundbreaking astronomical observatory named “Sinai.” 

This project is set to become the largest observatory in the Middle East and the estimated cost of the project is USD 100 million (EGP 3 billion), and it is expected to take four to five years to complete. 

The new observatory will be larger and more advanced than the current Kattamiya Astronomical Observatory (KAO), featuring a 6.5-meter main mirror compared to KAO’s 1.88-meter mirror. 

The chosen location for the observatory is Mount Al-Rajom in southern Sinai, boasting an elevation exceeding 1600 meters, making it among the twenty highest peaks in Egyptian territories.

President of the National Institute for Astronomical and Geophysical Research, Dr. Jad Al-Qadi, emphasized the significance of the new observatory, which will succeed KAO and serve as an extension of the Helwan Observatory established in 1903. 

Dr. Ashraf Shaker, the Head of the Astronomy Department at the institute, highlighted the future global scientific contributions that the planned observatory will make and that KAO will continue its operations along with the satellite and its monitoring station.

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