MATERNA – Mobility in Africa for Training, Education and Research: Network for Astrophysics

The African Initiative for Planetary and Space Science is glad to announce the submission of the project “MATERNA – Mobility in Africa for Training, Education and Research: Network for Astrophysics” to the Intra-Africa Academic Mobility Scheme”.This project is led by Abdelmajid BENHIDA from the University Cadi Ayyad (Marrakech, Morocco) and includes several funding members of the African Initiative for Planetary and Space Science. The Institutions of 9 countries are participating (Morocco, Ethiopia, Kenya, Ouganda, South Africa, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Belgium and France – the University of Nice being the technical partner -).

The acronym “MATERNA” reminds us that Astronomy is the Mother of Sciences and plays an important role in the training of the young generation in many scientific disciplines. This project aims to facilitate the mobility of African PhD and master students between African Institutions to complete their training within a network of an Universities and Research Centers that are leading the development of Astronomy in Africa. This submission is an important step moving forward the construction of a community of Astrophysicists in Africa !

Good luck to the new project and congratulations the the MATERNA team !


Astronomy and Astrophysics Arising Across Africa (5A)

The African Initiative for Planetary and Space Science is glad to announce the submission of the project “Astronomy and Astrophysics Arising Across Africa (5A)” to the Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) Call: H2020-MSCA-RISE-2020.

This project is led by Eric Lagadec and Mamadou Ndiaye, two members of the AFIPS committees from the Côte d’Azur Observatory in France. AFIPS, launched in 2017, had the ambition to contribute to the building of a community of researchers in planetary and space science in Africa, and this project is clearly making a decisive step forward: the project was elaborated and improved via weekly virtual meeting involving researchers from Belgium, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Italy, Morocco, Senegal, South Africa and Spain.

Its success would allow:

– the attribution of visiting positions for researchers belonging to institutions from the participating African and European countries (500 months allocated in total).

– the organization of 7 workshops across Africa and the Canary Islands.

– The support to existing and in-progress African Astronomical observatories and network of observatories between Africa and Europe.

– Research activities in the wide areas of Astronomy and space sciences, including planetary sciences, stellar physics, extragalactic science.

– The creation of new dark sky reserves in Africa, based on the experience of Morocco and France in this domain.

Project leaders
Eric Lagadec (eric.lagadec@oca.eu), Mamadou Ndiaye (mamadou.ndiaye@oca.eu)
Work package leaders
Planetary Sciences: David Baratoux (david.baratoux@ird.fr), Salma Sylla (salma.sylla@ucad.edu.sn)
Stellar and Solar Physics: Katrien Kolenberg (katrien.kolenberg@kuleuven.be), Shazrene Mohamed (shazrene@saao.ac.za)
Galactic and Extragalactic Science: Mirjana Pović (mpovic@iaa.es), Rubén García-Benito (rgb@iaa.es)
Instrumentation and Site Testing: Mamadou N’Diaye (mamadou.ndiaye@oca.eu), Zouhair Benkhaldoun (zouhair@uca.ac.ma)
Inclusion in Astronomy: Paola Marziani (paola.marziani@inaf.it), Somaya Mohamed Saad (saadmhsaad@gmail.com)
Outreach, dissemination and communication: Eric Lagadec (eric.lagadec@oca.eu), Zacharie Kam (szachkam@gmail.com)

Best wishes of success to this project !


On the Moon again – 2020 Edition

Dear Moon Observer,We are really excited to announce the 2020 On the Moon Again Edition!

Save the date: June 26 to 28

Please register here: www.onthemoonagain.org and check out materials to publicize your event.

We hope you’ll be with us again for this edition. There were more than 1,300 public events in 77 countries last year! We need your help to reach more and more moon observers in your country. Be On the Moon Again ambassadors!

Please, follow us and share our posts on social media.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/onthemoonagain
Twitter: https://twitter.com/onmoonagain
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/onthemoonagain/


OISA 2020 “Spectroscopy in Astrophysics”


We are pleased to announce that the Sixth Oukaimeden International School for Astrophysics (OISA) will take place in Cadi Ayyad University, Marrakech, Morocco from Monday, April 13th to Friday, April 17, 2020. OISA is a thematic doctoral school proposed by the Laboratory of High Energy Physics and Astrophysics (LPHEA) and the Oukaimeden Observatory. This edition will be organized in the framework of VLIRUOS project, a cooperation program between Antwerp University (Belgium) and Cadi Ayyad University (Morocco). The scope of this edition of the school covers the following fields:

• Spectroscopy of variable stars
• Near Earth Objects spectroscopy
• Radial Velocity for exoplanets
• Spectroscopy instrumentation
• Practical sessions of data processing

More information on http://marrakech-astro.uca.ma/oisa2020/


In pursuit of Ultima Thule in Senegal

On January 1, 2019, the American space probe New Horizons flew over the Thule Ultima asteroid. Located far beyond the planets of the Solar System, it is the most distant object ever explored by a human-made spacecraft.

A few months before the flight, American, Senegalese and French astronomers gathered in Senegal to prepare this unprecedented meeting more than 6 billion kilometers from Earth. An exceptional NASA mission made in Africa, with the participation of the team members of the African Initiative for Planetary and Space Sciences, to make a success of the meeting with Ultima Thule.

The film shot during the NASA Mission to Senegal in August 2018, with the support of MESRI (Senegal), ASPA, CNES, IRD and Uranoscope de France, is available online at the following link: https://youtu.be/Ow3O4bjxRm8

Director: Yseult Berger
Production: leblob.fr 2019



With “Vigie-Cratère”, become an impact crater hunter

Participate in the search for new impact craters thanks to the Vigie-Cratère participatory science program! This innovative platform, open to all, allows us to explore the relief of our planet to identify discrete or invisible circular structures on satellite imagery. This citizen science program, available in French and English, allows as many people as possible to learn more about impact processes and to help scientists better reconstruct the history of collisions with the Earth.

Continue reading “With “Vigie-Cratère”, become an impact crater hunter”


Henri Poincaré Junior Program of the Côte d’Azur Observatory

The Henri Poincaré Junior Program of Côte d’Azur Observatory is open (deadline, October 31, 2019).  This one proposes internships for international students wishing to perform a scientific training in one of the laboratories of the observatory. The laureates will receive up to 2200 euros for a training period of 2 months or more during the first half of 2020.


Continue reading “Henri Poincaré Junior Program of the Côte d’Azur Observatory”


Join On the Moon again and find sponsors for your event in Africa

You want to join On the Moon Again ? Make sure first that you have registered on www.onthemoongain.org

You need telescopes for your event ? We have prepared for you a sponsorship file to be submitted to potential sponsors – download it and adapt if for your event.

The sponsorship file has been prepared by Meriem El Yajouri in Morocco and is acknowledged here for sharing the file across Africa to increase the number of African explorers of the Moon !

Sponsorship file On the Moon again (English version)

Rejoignez on the Moon again et trouver des sponsors pour votre évènement en Afrique

Vous voulez rejoindre On the Moon Again ? – Assurez-vous d’abord que vous êtes inscrits sur www.onthemoongain.org

Vous avez besoin de télescopes pour votre événement? Nous avons préparé pour vous un dossier de parrainage à soumettre à des sponsors potentiels – téléchargez-le et adaptez-le pour votre événement.

Le dossier de parrainage a été préparé par Meriem El Yajouri pour le Maroc que nous remercions ici pour ce partage à travers l’Afrique afin d’augmenter le nombre d’explorateurs africains de la Lune!

Dossier de parrainage On the Moon again (version française)





NASA mission in Senegal – A source of inspiration for young Senegalese scientists


Introductory words by David Baratoux (translation from French speech)
In presence of Maram KAIRE (ASPA), Heath Bailey (USA Embassy in Dakar), Laurent Perez-Vidal (French Embassy), and the public of the “Théâtre de Verdure” of the French Institute in Dakar

As we will discover tonight, the space exploration of our Solar System, the planetary and space sciences are areas that are not restricted to a few nations around the world.

These sciences are first of all a source of inspiration and motivation for young people who face the learning of mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, or engineering sciences. Exploring the solar system leads to combine the learning of these fundamental disciplines, essential for innovation, with a huge part of dream, and also of excitement in front of the first images of new worlds, as we will discover one tonight. Participating in this adventure of space exploration of our solar system can play a role in education from primary school to university. Continue reading “NASA mission in Senegal – A source of inspiration for young Senegalese scientists”