H.E.S.S. Open Day
- 9 January 2023
by Michael Backes
The High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.) telescopes, situated in Namibia, are the world-leading facility in the field of ground-based gamma-ray astronomy. Further, H.E.S.S. also hosts the largest mirror telescope in the World. During October 2022, H.E.S.S. celebrated its 20th anniversary, since the first telescope was inaugurated in 2002. The full array of (then) 4 telescopes was inaugurated in 2004 and, in 2012, the fifth and largest Cherenkov telescope was inaugurated.
For the 20th anniversary, the H.E.S.S. collaboration with the University of Namibia (UNAM) organized a one day scientific symposium, close to Windhoek, followed by the formal 20th anniversary celebrations at the telescope site with ministers, representatives from Namibian, German and French ministries, diplomatic missions, UNAM top management, as well as partners like the Namibia Scientific Society (NSS) present; then the H.E.S.S. collaboration had their third ever collaborative meeting in Namibia and as conclusion of the festivities an Open Day was organized together with the NSS on Sunday 26 October. With more than 400 people on Farm Goellschau, gazing at the impressive H.E.S.S. telescopes during the day, 5 organized buses for students and the wider public, and 220 visitors to the UNAM/Africa Millimetre Telescope (AMT) mobile planetarium, the Open Day can rightfully be called a huge success.
For more information about the 20th-anniversary celebrations, see Max-Planck-Institute Heidelberg.