Astronomy outreach in Namibia: H.E.S.S. and beyond

Publication Year:

Astronomy plays a major role in the scientific landscape of Namibia. Because of its excellent sky conditions, Namibia is home to ground-based observatories like the High Energy Spectroscopic System (H.E.S.S.), in operation since 2002. Located near the Gamsberg mountain, H.E.S.S. performs groundbreaking science by detecting very-high-energy gamma rays from astronomical objects. The fascinating stories behind many of them are featured regularly in the “Source of the Month”, a blog-like format intended for the general public with more than 170 features to date. In addition to other online communication via social media, H.E.S.S. outreach activities have been covered locally, e.g. through ‘open days’ and guided tours on the H.E.S.S. site itself. An overview of the H.E.S.S. outreach activities are presented in this contribution, along with discussions relating to the current landscape of astronomy outreach and education in Namibia. There has also been significant activity in the country in recent months, whereby astronomy is being used to further sustainable development via human capacity-building. Finally, as we take into account the future prospects of radio astronomy in the country, momentum for a wider range of astrophysics research is clearly building - this presents a great opportunity for the astronomy community to come together to capitalise on this movement and support astronomy outreach, with the overarching aim to advance sustainable development in Namibia.

Publication Title:

Proceedings of Science

Conference name:
37th International Cosmic Ray Conference (ICRC 2021) July 12th – 23rd, 2021
Berlin, Germany
Item Type:
Journal Article

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