In celebration of the hard work and significant contributions of Ethiopians to the field of Astronomy, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) is assigning to the country (through Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute (ESSTI) and Ethiopian Space Science Society (ESSS)) the naming right to some celestial bodies which include a star (HD16175) and a planet (HD16175b). This was disclosed at a press briefing today in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
ESSTI Director General, Dr.Solomon Belay in his statement said “Ethiopians have made great strides in the field of astrophysics, and this opportunity has increased our acceptance of science in the international arena with a great impact on the nation’s pride. We are providing more opportunities for young people who are interested in space science, and the government is paying more attention to the sector.”
An associate professor with ESSTI, Dr. Getaneh, claimed that the star (HD16175) is in Andromeda constellation and is 4.8 times greater than the Sun. The Director General of the Institution informed the media that the institute will engage the country’s citizens in submitting nominations for the celestial bodies.
The International Astronomical Union (IAU) was founded in 1919. Its mission is to promote and safeguard the science of astronomy in all its aspects, including research, communication, education and development, through international cooperation.
Among the other tasks of the IAU are the definition of fundamental astronomical and physical constants; unambiguous astronomical nomenclature and informal discussions on the possibilities for future international large-scale facilities. Furthermore, the IAU serves as the internationally recognized authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies and surface features on them.
The main objectives of Establishment of Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute (ESSTI) are to enable the country to fully exploit multidimensional uses of space science and technologies; to produce demand based knowledgeable, skilled and matured professionals in the field of aerospace science that enable the country to become internationally competitive in the sector; to develop and strengthen space science and technology infrastructures to speed up space science and technology development in the country; and enable the country to be robust contributor for the development of aerospace science and technology.
Ethiopian space science society was established in 2004, with 47 founding members. It is a non-profitable organization constitute of members from astronomy, astrophysics, space science and technology and related field of professionals as well as individual and institutional members interested in the above fields. The vision of ESSS is “to make Ethiopia effective and extensive user of space science and technology, especially satellite science and technology applications in all aspects of the development of the country and become contributor to the development of astronomy, space science and related sciences within ten years.”