Astronomy plays a major role in the scientific landscape of Namibia. Because of its excellent sky conditions, Namibia is not only frequently visited by astrophotographers but is also 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 many different 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 so far. Together with this digital format, H.E.S.S. outreach activities have always been covered locally, e.g. via ‘open days’ and guided tours on the H.E.S.S. site itself. An overview of the H.E.S.S. outreach activities will be presented in this contribution, along with discussions relating to the current landscape of astronomy outreach and education in Namibia. We will also touch on some of the significant activity in the country in recent months, which aims to use astronomy as a means for capacity-building and sustainable development. 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 further support astronomy outreach and education in Namibia.
outreach; education; sustainable development; capacity-building; Namibia; Africa
|Subcategory||Outreach and Education|