Morocco is experiencing a growing dynamic in the field of astronomy. This dynamic was initiated more than thirty years ago by scientists and amateurs. Thus, our country is represented in the International Astronomical Union (IAU) by Cadi Ayyad University through a national committee (NCA) chaired by Prof. Benkhaldoun Zouhair, Director of the Oukaimeden Observatory. Similarly, Morocco has a National Committee NOC to coordinate the dissemination of astronomy to the general public. This committee is the principal outreach national interlocutor and representative appointed under the IAU outreach structure. This committee has recently coordinated the operation of nomenclature of exoplanets (http://marrakech-astro.uca.ma/mar-exoworlds/index.html) which led to the selection and adoption of the names Isli and Tislit respectively for the star WASP-161 and its exoplanet WASP-161b.
Today the NOC Morocco is further structured by formalizing its members and appointing a national coordinator, Dr Meriem El Yajouri, PhD in astrophysics from Paris Observatory, president of the association SpaceBus Morocco and member of the steering committee of the African Initiative of Planetary and Space Science.
The main objectives of this committee are as follows:
- To play its role as an effective interface with the IAU by diffusing the various IAU announcements and calls for proposals.
- Coordination of activities to raise awareness, promote astronomy and make science more interesting to young students and the general public in Morocco.
- To bring help and support to the civil society in Morocco as well as to the resource persons in the field of outreach.
- To generalize and encourage the organization of all activities and events related to astronomy and space science including Astronomy Festivals in the different regions of Morocco.
The members of this committee are
Bani Abdelhafid, Rabat Astronomy Association, Fun Astronomy.
Belhaj Zakaria, HPS Foundation, SpaceBus Morocco association.
Benkhaldoun Zouhair, Professor Cadi Ayyad University of Marrakech, Director of the Oukaimeden Observatory, AFIPS Scientific Advisory Committee Member
Boskri Abdelkarim, PhD-student in astrophysics at Cadi Ayyad University
Chennaoui Hasnaa, Professor Hassan II University of Casablanca, President ATTARIK Foundation, AFIPS member in charge of Relations with the public and the media
El Azhari Youssef, Director of the National Centre for Pedagogical Innovation and Experimentation, Morocco.
El Yajouri Meriem, Doctor in Astrophysics, SpaceBus Morocco association, AFIPS Steering committee.
Darhmaoui Hassane, Professor, Al Akhawayn University.
Nail Naima, Vega/ Moroccan Association of Astronomy and Space Sciences.
Talibi Hassan, Islamic Crescents Observation Project.