An astrophysicist at the University of Namibia, Dr. Eli Kasai, is working on a project that would bring a millimeter-wave telescope to Gamsberg, a plateau mountain about 160 km south-west of the capital Windhoek. Known as the Africa Millimeter Telescope (AMT), this US$20 million facility will play a crucial role in the study of black holes, extremely condensed areas of space that form in the aftermath of a star’s collapse whose gravity is so strong that not even light can escape it.
The Event Horizon Telescope produced the first-ever image of a black hole.
The AMT, the first of its kind in Africa, will be linked to a global network of radio telescopes called the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), effectively turning the entire Earth into one giant telescope. The EHT produced the first-ever image of a black hole.
Namibia to Benefit
Namibia’s generally cloudless night sky and minimal light and air pollution make it an ideal place for both amateur and professional astronomers to observe the southern constellations. The AMT could help the country benefit in terms of astro-tourism.