Strengthening Astronomy Research at University in Rwanda (Phase 1)

During the year 2009, IAU donated 5 computers to help students and Lecturers to learn and use astronomy softwares. The computers run completely on linux. With these computers, KIE students have now a possibility to choose astronomy/space science for their undergraduate final year research projects. In order to make these computers more useful, a permanent astronomy research team is needed. In fact, as we have already entered in the era where Astronomy research can be done locally even in the developing countries using online data mining (some of these data are semi or completely reduced ). In order to make use of these data, there is a need to have a research team trained on various softwares for data reduction to ensure quality in data handling and interpretation. In addition, following the growing initiatives to build telescopes in East Africa e.g. the Entoto Optical observatory project (in Ethiopia) and the extension of the SKA radio dishes up to Kenya, research teams need to be introduced at universities to make use (for long term) of the data output of these infrastructures. In these regards, there will be opportunity to get data for our own planned objects. In this project (phase I), we intend to build an astrophysics research team in Rwanda. The phase II will consist at extending it to the whole region an build a pana-East-African multi-wavelength research team which will be able to reduce multi-wavelength photometric and spectroscopic data (Radio, Optical, X-ray, gamma-rays). In this phase ONE, we intend a two-week workshop in which we will invite visiting astronomers to train the members of the research team (Lecturers doing research in Astrophysics and related sciences in Rwanda) on the proper use of softwares of handling the data. Equal emphasis in the first phase will be also put in the consolidation of a theoretical background on the understanding and analysing the spectroscopic and photometric properties of stars and galaxies. These lectures will be allocated 2-3 hours every morning, the first week being on “stars and galaxies” and the second week being on extragalactic objects. The rest of the hours of the days will be allocated to introduce the available data and missions, study softwares e.g. IRAF, HEASOFT and other plotting data softwares like TOPCAT etc. Participation of astronomers of the region will be encouraged.






Capacity Building