23/04/03

Namibia hunts for cosmic rays

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This week sees the opening of a gamma-ray telescope in Namibia, the first of an array of four telescopes that will observe the Galactic sources of cosmic rays.

Cosmic rays release large numbers of gamma-rays early in their life, so tracking the latter could help researchers locate the source of cosmic rays (see related Nature news feature).

It is hoped that the new High Energy Stereoscope System (HESS) will boost opportunities for local scientists. The €7.6-million project is being led by the University of Windhoek in Namibia and the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Germany, and is being showcased as an example of how to build bridges between science in Europe and Africa.

Link to full Nature news story

Reference: Nature 419, 6 (2002)