Astrophysicists at the University of Oxford are delighted that the Africa Millimetre Telescope (AMT) project has been given the green light – the first step towards having a radio telescope in Namibia.
AMT will expand the telescope network of the Event Horizon Telescope which in turn will allow for better images and videos to be taken of the black hole at the centre of our galaxy. The AMT will be the first radio telescope in Africa that is sensitive to millimetre wavelength radiation. It is part of a large collaborative project between Radboud University and the University of Namibia (UNAM). The University of Oxford will be playing its role in preparing the telescope’s research programme led by Professors Rob Fender and Garret Cotter.
The AMT will also work as a standalone telescope – the only one of its kind in Africa. The telescope can monitor variations in brightness of small and large black holes which it will also do in collaboration with optical telescopes and gamma ray telescopes such as the High Energy Stereoscopic System (HESS) in Namibia and the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) in Chile.