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The stellar occultation by the asteroid Ultima Thule in Senegal – An opportunity for the development of Astronomy in Africa

On the night of August 3rd to 4th, American, Senegalese and French scientists will meet in Senegal to observe a new stellar occultation by MU69, before the flyby of this object by the New Horizons spacecraft (NASA) on January 1st 2019. This Observation campaign is an opportunity to promote scientific culture, and bring science and researchers from the general public around a global astronomical event.

Consult here the list of public activities in relation with the stellar occultation.

Read the CNES-IRD-CNES press release

Continue reading “The stellar occultation by the asteroid Ultima Thule in Senegal – An opportunity for the development of Astronomy in Africa”

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Development in astronomy and space science in Africa

The development of astronomy and space science in Africa has grown significantly over the past few years. These advancements make the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals more achievable, and open up the possibility of new beneficial collaborations.

This month, a team of astronomers, led by Mirjana Pović, from the Entoto Observatory in Ethiopia summarizes the last institutional developments in Africa to develop astronomy and space science and how these efforts contribute to UN Sustainable Development Goals in Africa. The article is published as a comment in the journal Nature Astronomy.

The article may be read online here:

Pović, M. et al. (2018) Development in astronomy and space science in Africa. Nature Astronomy.

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Call for AFIPS workshops proposals

Evaluation in progress – Decision will be posted on August 15th, 2018

Lire la version française.

The objective of this call for proposals is to strengthen the African vision for developing Planetary and Space Sciences at the local, national, or regional scale. Proposals are invited for the organization of two 4-day workshops in 2018, to involve African researchers and international participants. The two workshops will be financially supported by the European Association of Geochemistry and Geochemical Society.

The deadline for submission of proposals is extended to June, 10th, 2018.

Download the text of the call for proposal.

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Appel à propositions pour des ateliers AFIPS

Evaluation en cours – la décision sera diffusée le 15 Aout 2018

Read the english version
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L’objectif de cet appel à propositions est de renforcer la vision africaine pour le développement des sciences planétaires et spatiales à l’échelle locale, nationale ou régionale. Nous invitons à soumettre des propositions pour l’organisation de deux ateliers de 4 jours en 2018, impliquant des chercheurs africains et des participants internationaux. Les deux ateliers seront soutenus financièrement par l’Association Européenne de Géochimie et la Geochemical Society.

La date limite pour la soumission des propositions est étendu au 10 Juin 2018.

Télécharger l’appel à propositions.

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The Cadi Ayyad University (Marrakech) officially endorses the AFIPS

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The Cadi Ayyad University (UCA) has officially announced its support for the AFIPS Initiative through a letter of endorsement from its president Prof. Abdellatif Miraoui.

The UCA is very active at the African scale in the sciences of the Universe. It hosts in particular a very dynamic astronomical observatory (Observatory of Oukaimeden, in the Altas Mountains) led by our colleague Prof. Zouhair BENKHALDOUN, who is also a membe of the AFIPS.

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Oukaimeden Observatory (Cadi Ayyad University)

Continue reading “The Cadi Ayyad University (Marrakech) officially endorses the AFIPS”

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Call for participation to the Pan African STEM Video Game Challenge 2018

The Africa Initiative for Planetary and Spaces Sciences (AFIPS) and the Pan African STEM Video Game challenge 2018 have decided to join forces to engage African students with STEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Planetary and space scientists across the world are invited to contribute to this event that will take place in Africa.
Continue reading “Call for participation to the Pan African STEM Video Game Challenge 2018”

Atlas Dark Sky – A dark sky reserve in Morocco

The Astronomical Observatory of the Oukaimeden is leading a citizen project of great importance. This project, named “Atlas Dark Sky” consists in creating an reserve of dark sky covering a large territory including the Toubkal National Park in Morocco. An International Dark Sky Reserve, as defined by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), is a territory that has a starry sky of exceptional quality and is protected for scientific, educational or culture purposes, as well as for the purpose of nature preservation.

This project has several partners in Morocco, Canada, U.S.A, Spain, and France. The Africa Initiative for Planetary and Space Science is a partner of this project.

On the 8th of Mars 2018, the first workshop about this project took place at Tanhaout, Morocco.

More information (in french) may be found on the flyer for the March, 8th workshop here.

L’Université Cadi Ayyad (Marrakech) rejoint officiellement l’AFIPS

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L’université Cadi Ayyad (UCA) vient d’acter officiellement son soutien à l’Initiative AFIPS à travers une lettre de son président le Pr. Abdellatif Miraoui.

L’université Cadi Ayyad est très active à l’échelle Africaine dans les sciences de l’Univers. Elle abrite en particulier un observatoire astronomique très dynamique dirigé par notre collègue Prof. Zouhair BENKHALDOUN, qui est aussi membre de l’AFIPS.

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Observatoire de l’Oukaimeden (Université Cadi Ayyad)

Continue reading “L’Université Cadi Ayyad (Marrakech) rejoint officiellement l’AFIPS”

The Hassan II University of Casablanca has endorsed the Africa Initiative for Planetary and Space Sciences

The Hassan II University of Casablanca has now made official its commitment to support the development of Planetary and Space Sciences in Africa. The Hassan II University, and particularly the GAIA Laboratory (Géosciences appliquées à l’ingénierie de l’aménagement), run by the Prof. Hasnaa Chennaoui-Aoudjehane, has been active in the studies of meteorites and impact craters in Morocco since many years. The members of this laboratory make also very regular actions for the promotion of planetary sciences to the public, such as conferences, talks in the media and articles in popular science journals (e.g., recent article about a unique impact structure in Morocco, “What a Moroccan crater reveals about a rare double whammy from the skies“, in The Conversation – Africa). The Hassan II university is also at the origin of the introduction of dedicated curricula in Planetary sciences in the national scale. Continue reading “The Hassan II University of Casablanca has endorsed the Africa Initiative for Planetary and Space Sciences”