RSA supports Namibia’s bid for CTA

Home Business RSA supports Namibia’s bid for CTA

WINDHOEK – South Africa has given its assurance to support Namibia’s bid to host the Cherenkov Telescope Array, a global project that has attracted more than 1 000 scientists from 27 countries. Namibia is competing against potential sites in Argentina and Chile, and hopes to host the southern hemisphere portion of the CTA near the remote railway town of Aus in the south, //Karas Region, and would attract about two-thirds of the CTA budget as it will be the larger site.

Hosting the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) is a big thing in the study of the universe and the successful country to host the CTA would attract global attention from physicists, astrophysicists, to astronomers and cosmologists. Not to mention the big budget that would be dedicated to the project.   

South Africa made the assurance this week during the Joint Bilateral Committee meeting, where Dr David Namwandi, Minister of Education and the South African Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor signed agreement for cooperation in the area of Astronomy and Space Science. The two countries already have a Framework of the Scientific and Technological Cooperation Agreement. 

“I would like to thank the Minister of Science and Technology of South Africa, for the overwhelming support that her government has given Namibia during the CTA bid process”, said Dr Namwandi. 

The CTA project is an initiative to build the next generation of ground-based, very high-energy gamma-ray instruments. It aims to use detection of high-energy gamma rays to provide a deeper insight into the high-energy Universe. 

By hosting the CTA, Namibia would play a crucial role in the exploration of the universe in depth in very high Energy gamma-rays and investigate cosmic non-thermal processes, in close cooperation with observatories operating at other wavelength ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum, and those using other messengers such as cosmic rays and neutrinos.

 “Namibia is committed to the advancement of Science and Technology as driver of national development. As we march towards becoming a knowledge-based, industrialised nation we recognise the need to invest in Science and Research infrastructure to support innovation and technology development,” said Dr Namwandi.

Besides anticipated high-energy astrophysics results, CTA will have a large discovery potential in key areas of astronomy, astrophysics and fundamental physics research. These include the study of the origin of cosmic rays and their impact on the constituents of the Universe, the investigation of the nature and variety of black hole particle accelerators, and the inquiry into the ultimate nature of matter and physics beyond the Standard Model, searching for dark matter and effects of quantum gravity.

South Africa and Namibia committed themselves, during the bilateral talks, to enhancing the human capacity for developing a global competitive scientific and technological community in support of Astronomy, Space Science in Southern Africa, as well as to advancing public outreach, promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics education tor the stimulation of innovation.  

By Staff Reporter