By; Mupiri Matthias
Windhoek; June 20 – Radboud University and the University of Namibia signed an agreement on building a telescope, the framework agreement was signed at State House in Windhoek by Kenneth Matengu, vice chancellor of the University of Namibia, and Daniel Wigboldus, president of the executive board of Radboud University, in order to advance collaboration between UNAM and Radboud University and to realize the construction of the Africa Millimeter Telescope in Namibia. The deal confirms prior Memorandums of Understanding to investigate the viability of constructing a millimeter-wave radio telescope.
The financing has been obtained, thus the design and construction phases may officially move forward.
Hage Geingob, the president of Namibia, Mark Rutte, the prime minister of the Netherlands, and Mette Frederiksen, the prime minister of Denmark, all saw the signing of the deal. The government of the Netherlands and Denmark traveled to Namibia to talk about Namibia’s strategies for leading the world in producing environmentally friendly hydrogen and to promote information exchange between the nations. According to Wigboldus, “Collaboration between African and European universities based on equity and respect advances not only science but also our societies.”
“Today’s signing of this framework agreement cements our universities’ friendship.” The Africa Millimeter Telescope is planned to be able to link to the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) network and will be constructed on or near the Gamsberg in the Khomas highlands.
In 2019 and 2022, the EHT collaboration released the first pictures of two supermassive black holes. The AMT, which is located in the southern hemisphere, will be an essential link between telescopes in Europe, South, and Latin America, and at the South Pole and will provide a superb view of the black hole at the center of our Milky Way. It is intended to boost the EHT network’s resolution so that movies of the event horizon’s near areas can be captured.
The AMT will also be available for study as a stand-alone telescope, allowing Namibian scientists and others to investigate themes that might otherwise be inaccessible via larger facilities. “This telescope offers Namibia and UNAM the chance to participate in top-notch science. The Physics, Chemistry, and Material Science departments at our university will benefit, as well as Namibia since it opens the door to further advancements and educational opportunities, says Matengu.
UNAM astronomy students welcomed the delegation to view the AMT mobile planetarium. The students emphasized the need of motivating the next generation of scientists and technologists at an early age in order for Namibia to become a leader in addressing the global climate and energy issues. The mobile planetarium is a cooperation between the University of Namibia, Radboud University, and the Dutch Research School for Astronomy, and it seeks to reach all Namibian schools during the course of the project. ~Namibia Daily News