In a bid to develop the next generation of astronomers in the country and cultivate the interest of Namibian students and teachers in astronomy, a group of astronomers from Radboud University will tour every Namibian school in the next five years, on a mobile planetarium.
Expectations are that some of these students will join the proposed African Millimeter Telescope(AMT) project in the country as engineers and scientists in the nearest future.
“We will need some serious financial infusion to make great leaps forward, and also try to get some site-testing equipment to the mountaintop during the first quarter of this year,” he added with optimism. The coordinators of the project hope to convince donors and sponsors on the immense benefits of investing in astronomy projects.
Astronomy In Namibia.
According to an article in Experience by Stav Dimitropoulos, Namibia’s venture into astronomical research gained momentum in the early 2000s when several institutions started operating the High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.) telescopes, centred in a research structure situated atop the mile-high plateau of Khomas Hochland, about 60 miles west of the country’s capital.
In recent times, the Southern African country has been on track to advance its position in astronomical research with several of such activities. She is on course on a massive telescope project, which through the collaborative effort by the University of Namibia and Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands, will see scientists bring a renovated telescope to Namibia. The refurbished telescope will serve as a link in a global network of radio telescopes, known as the Event Horizon Telescope. Noteworthily, Namibia is a part of the nine African countries working toward developing the Square Kilometer Array, the world’s supposed largest radio telescope, to be co-located in South Africa and Australia.
Ogechi Onuoha is a Cambridge Certified ESOL editor with a background in reporting, international relations, creative writing and adept in industry research and analysis. She is passionate about curating and evaluating the benefits/relevance of space to grassroots development and women’s participation in the space sector.