With light pollution on the rise, tourists desire to travel to remote areas to experience dark, starry skies. Astrotourism is a growing market, and is sustainable and low-cost to implement. Activities like stargazing, sharing indigenous star lore, visiting observatories and other astronomy-related sites, and doing astrophotography all come under the umbrella of astrotourism.
In order to make astrotourism more accessible, researchers working between the University of Namibia and the University of Oxford came together to develop a free, introductory course. Although the course is now over, you can still access the materials and resources here:
- Introduction to astronomy // document // slides
- Astronomy facilities and research in Southern Africa // document // slides
- Astronomy and astrotourism for development // document // slides
- Stargazing and indigenous astronomy // document // slides
- Light pollution and dark sky conservation // document // slides
This course serves as an introduction to several relevant topics relating to astrotourism, and sessions 2 and 4 are largely in the context of Namibia. No prior knowledge is needed to take part.
This project is led by Prof. Garret Cotter (University of Oxford), Dr Michael Backes (University of Namibia) and Dr Eli Kasai (University of Namibia), and has been funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund (ST/S002952/1) and Exeter College, Oxford in the UK. We also acknowledge support from the Namibia Scientific Society, and the IAU’s Office of Astronomy for Development.