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In A First, Pakistani Astronomer Makes Research Trip To Antarctica

Pakistani astronomer Dr Tayyaba Zafar made history by going for the Antarctic Research Trip under the Homeward Bound programme.

The Lahore-based stargazer is the first Pakistani woman to be selected for the research tour among 80 other women from various countries of the world who also took part in the study.

The Homeward Bound programme aims to empower women and increase their influence in the field of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine, a story published in the Express Tribune said.

Photo: Express

Under the programme, Dr Zafar visited Antarctica for three weeks. The three-week long trip included daily leadership lectures, while the women also visited sites affected by climate change.

The topics under examination ranged from different species of penguins, country basis, melting glaciers, zodiac cruises and whale watching.

Speaking to the Express Tribune, Zafar said that although she enjoyed gazing at the stars, her visit to the Antarctic was an experience of a lifetime and that she learned a lot. “You can feel the positivity and inhale it. You can reflect yourself.”

She said the experience was awe-inspiring but difficult too as most of the women fell sick. “Although it was a great experience, some of us fell seasick and the most common effect was dizziness,” she said.

The 35-year-old also talked about her love for astronomy saying that she had loved it since childhood. She said stars and galaxies have always inspired her, and while in school, physics and mathematics were her favorite subjects.

She said that although the subject of astronomy is not taught in Pakistan, she used to buy books on the subject and do in-depth study on her own.

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