Robert Johnstone donates two telescopes to the Namibia Scientific Society

  • 11 October 2023

In the vast expanse of the Namibian night sky, a dream was born. Robert Johnstone, a passionate amateur astronomer with a vision, set out to introduce the people of Namibia to the wonders of the cosmos. With the appearance of Halley's Comet in 1986, Johnstone was hooked. The astronomer founded Space Observation Learning Namibia in 2009, offering stargazing and astronomy education that showcased the wonders of the Namibian night sky. He wanted to inspire youngsters to “look up”.

Robert Johnstone tremendously enjoyed spending time in the Namib desert, as here the population density is thinnest and thus the night sky is incredibly dark. It is these traits, that make Namibia one of the most sought-after locations in the world for observing the night sky and stargazing.

With unwavering determination, Rob Johnstone travelled far and wide, lugging telescopes that would become a gateway to the stars. The moon, planets and even entire nebulas came into sharp focus for those fortunate enough to peer through these celestial lenses.

After emigrating from Namibia, it soon became clear that the telescope equipment needed a new home. Keeping in mind that this equipment was meant to educate the nation on the night sky, the Namibia Scientific Society with its Astro Workgroup came to mind for Robert Johnstone.

Under the watchful eye of Robert himself, Alex Arnold and Lutz von Dewitz set up the 14" Meade LX200 GPS telescope with tripod, mount, field de-rotator, and accessories. As well as the 12" Meade LX200 GPS telescope with tripod, mount, and accessories and received a short introduction to the operations of the equipment. With the words “enjoy the equipment and have fun” Robert Johnstone officially handed over the equipment to the Namibia Scientific Society in 2023.

We would like to take this opportunity, to thank Robert Johnstone for entrusting us with these valuable assets. You can remain assured, that this equipment will only be handled with the utmost respect and that hundreds of people will get to see through it in the future.

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