With light pollution on the rise in recent decades, the desire to travel to remote areas to experience dark, starry skies is increasing. As a result, astrotourism is a growing market, which is sustainable and low-cost to implement, in addition to many other benefits. Activities like stargazing, sharing indigenous star lore, visiting astronomical observatories and archaeoastronomical sites, and doing astrophotography all come under the umbrella of astrotourism.

In order to make astrotourism more accessible, researchers working between the University of Namibia and the University of Oxford have come together to develop an introductory course which will be run via Zoom, free of charge. The course will consist of five, 1.5-hour sessions, and will be delivered on Tuesdays at 4pm CAT (UTC+2) on the following dates:

24th August (16:00-17:30 CAT / 22:00-23:30 Brunei Time) – Introduction to astronomy
31st August (16:00-17:30 CAT / 22:00-23:30 Brunei Time) – Astronomy facilities and research in Southern Africa
7th Sept (16:00-17:30 CAT / 22:00-23:30 Brunei Time) – Astronomy for development and astrotourism
14th Sept (16:00-17:30 CAT / 22:00-23:30 Brunei Time) – Stargazing and indigenous astronomy in Namibia
21st Sept (16:00-17:30 CAT / 22:00-23:30 Brunei Time ) – Light pollution and dark skies for sustainable development

This course serves as an introduction to several relevant topics relating to astrotourism, and sessions 2 and 4 will largely be in the context of Namibia. No prior knowledge is needed to take part in this course, and where possible we will share additional resources where you can learn in more depth. This course is not officially accredited, and cannot be used as credits towards other programmes. All sessions will be recorded, and material (PDFs and slides) will be made freely available to participants afterwards.

If you are interested in taking part, complete this registration form by Wednesday 18th August; our capacity is 300 participants. Here https://forms.gle/c6okSDfttXCvLmTo8

The information you provide in this form will be used for the sole purpose of contacting you about the course, and for understanding the demographics of those taking part. Your personal information will not be shared in any way and if you agree, will be kept for evaluation purposes for one year. Otherwise, it will be deleted after the course has been completed.

The course will be delivered by: Dr Hannah Dalgleish (University of Namibia, University of Oxford); Dr Meghan Hughes (University of Oxford). And was prepared with the additional help from: Dr Getachew Mengistie (University of Namibia). This project is led by Prof. Garret Cotter (University of Oxford), Dr Michael Backes (University of Namibia) and Dr Eli Kasai (University of Namibia), and has been funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund (ST/S002952/1) and Exeter College, Oxford in the UK.

  • IAU OAO NOC Brunei Darussalam

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