Abstracts

Rhodri Evans, University of Namibia, Namibia
The Africa Millimetre Telescope – Observing the Galaxy’s central black hole

Abstract: The Africa Millimetre Telescope (AMT) will be built on Mount Gamsberg in Namibia. the 15-metre dish will see first light by April 2024, and will form part of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) network of millimetre telescopes which will use Very Long Baseline Interferometry to obtain the first ever images of our Galaxy’s central black hole. In addition, the AMT will spend approximately 80% of its time doing a number of other observing projects, operating in both single-dish mode and using interferometry with other dishes. In this talk I will show the important role a millimetre-wave telescope in Namibia will play in the EHT, as well as summarise the current observing projects we have chosen during the telescope’s first phase of operations.
Carla Sharpe, SARAO, RSA
SARAO, AVN and the Africa Programme

Abstract:
In 2012 South Africa initiated the AVN programme with eight African Partner countries; Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia. The AVN programme aims to establish Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) capable radio telescopes in the SKA African partner countries through the conversion of redundant telecommunications antennas, new-build antennas or through the establishment of training facilities with training telescopes. Developing a network of VLBI capable radio telescopes on the African continent will allow for the transfer of knowledge and technology as well as the development of the necessary and transferable skills within participating countries. There have been a number of strategic partnerships and interventions in outreach and Human Capital Development. The Africa colocation plan was developed in response to the need for sustainability of the African Partner Country (APC) sites for the AVN network. The colocation plan allows for a collaboration between industry, government and academia to generate innovation, revenue and space sciences from one colocated site.
Fernando Camilo, SARAO, RSA
MeerKAT Updates and Early Science

Abstract: After more than a decade in the making, the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory’s MeerKAT radio telescope was inaugurated in July 2018 and is now being used for scientific observations. You might have already seen its iconic image of the Galactic Centre. Come and see several more early results, including one of the deepest radio images ever made, and a collection of wonderful and weird structures. I’ll summarize the current status of the telescope and plans for continued development, as well as opportunities to use it.
Sivuyile Manxoyi, SAAO, RSA
Seasoning society with SALT: Reflections and lessons from the SALT Collateral Benefits Programme (SCBP)

Abstract: The construction of the Southern African Large Telescope in Sutherland not only ushered Southern Africa into a new era of 10m class telescopes but introduced a new approach to communication of science and astronomy in particular with the public through the SALT Collateral benefits programme (SCBP). The SCBP seeks to communicate the relevance, beauty and power of astronomy by engaging various audiences which includes teachers, learners, post graduate students and communities (particularly the Sutherland community). This presentation will offer a brief description of the historical development of the SALT collateral benefits programme and its strategy, share successes and challenges, reflections and lessons for anyone interested in developing and implementing a science engagement programme.
Beza Tesfaye, SGAC, Ethiopia
Space in Africa

Abstracts: Space programmes in Africa, Education and Outreach
Jamal Mimouni, University of Constantine, Algeria
The Micro & Macro Worlds Circa Early XXIst Century

Abstracts: We present a broad perspective on our (early) XXIth century understanding of both the macro and micro worlds. Do we have a unified vision of the world at those extreme scales? What about the status of that «21 st century» theory «that fell accidentally into the 20th century” to quote E.Witten, and which is the cement of aspiring-to-be paradigms like Cosmic Inflation, Multiverses, black holes… as well as the inspiration of most pre-Big Bang theories.
There is no question that the failure of theoretical astrophysics to solve these big puzzles left over from the past century is stemming from the limitations of particle physics as it stumbles on the «not high enough» energy limit of present day colliders, thus the great hope pinned on the UHE Cosmic Rays and Multimessenger astronomy for their capability to cross the many orders of magnitude energy gap. If physicists from Lord Kelvin to Hawking were thinking that physics might be brought to completion within their lifetime, we now have another brand who entertains the idea that physics built on unambiguous tested facts  is foregone and experiments can be simulated on computer. 
We will discuss along the way, the fine tuning curse, the Cosmic Inflation and Multiverse Pandora’s box, and other big mysteries perhaps of our own making. Then propose that as to keep our sanity in the actual jungle of ideas, we be guided by the voice of reason which goes by the unpretentious name of plurivocity or under- determinacy of theories.
Sarah White, Rhodes University, RSA
The brightest radio-sources in the southern sky

Abstracts: Powerful radio-galaxies feature heavily in our understanding of galaxy evolution. However, when it comes to studying their properties as a function of redshift and/or environment, the most-detailed studies tend to be limited by small-number statistics. In this talk, I will present a compilation of ~2,000 of the ‘brightest’ radio-sources in the southern sky (Dec. < +30 deg). This is the GLEAM 4-Jy (G4Jy) Sample (White et al., 2020a, 2020b), the majority of which are active galactic nuclei (AGN) with powerful radio-jets. The sample is selected at low radio-frequencies (S_151MHz > 4 Jy), and 140 of the sources have been observed as part of Open Time on MeerKAT. The first aim is to identify the radio core (and subsequently the host galaxy), as existing radio images are of poor resolution. With over 10 times as many sources as the best-studied, low-frequency radio-source sample that is optically complete (the revised Third Cambridge Catalogue of Radio Sources; 3CRR), the G4Jy Sample will allow models of powerful AGN and feedback processes to be tested more robustly.
Itumeleng Monageng, UCT/SAAO
A study of the outbursting behavior of the Be X-ray binary, SXP91.1

Abstract: Be X-ray binaries, which make up the largest subclass of the high mass X-ray binary systems, comprise a neutron star in an eccentric orbit around Be star companion with a geometrically thin Keplerian disc. The interaction of the neutron star with the Be disc results in accretion of matter leading to X-ray outbursts. The X-ray outbursts occur in two flavours: type I and type  II. The disc variability is traced through the variability of the emission lines in the optical spectra.
In this talk I will present recent results of the outbursting Be X-ray binary, SXP91.1, which is located in the Small Magellanic Cloud. The data from the monitoring campaign of this object was obtained using the optical telescopes, SALT and OGLE, together with X-ray observations from Swift. I will show the analysis performed on these data, where we have studied the variability of the circumstellar disc and how it interacts with the neutron star.
Be X-ray binaries, which make up the largest subclass of the high mass X-ray binary systems, comprise a neutron star in an eccentric orbit around Be star companion with a geometrically thin Keplerian disc. The interaction of the neutron star with the Be disc results in accretion of matter leading to X-ray outbursts. The X-ray outbursts occur in two flavours: type I and type  II. The disc variability is traced through the variability of the emission lines in the optical spectra.
In this talk I will present recent results of the outbursting Be X-ray binary, SXP91.1, which is located in the Small Magellanic Cloud. The data from the monitoring campaign of this object was obtained using the optical telescopes, SALT and OGLE, together with X-ray observations from Swift. I will show the analysis performed on these data, where we have studied the variability of the circumstellar disc and how it interacts with the neutron star.
Naftali Kimani, Kenyatta University, Kenya
The evolution of Radio supernova SN2008iz in M82 Galaxy

Abstract: Radio-loud supernovae are rare events with just a few dozen detected. The majority of them are relatively distant or fairly weak, making them difficult to study in great detail. To date, the best known example is SN1993J in M81 galaxy which has been studied extensively due to its proximity (3.63Mpc), environment (which allows for multi-wavelength studies) and galaxy orientation (M81 is almost face-on). The discovery of SN2008iz in M82 galaxy offers the possibility to study another supernova at a very similar distance in great detail and to make a comparison to SN1993J. We report on multi-frequency VLA and VLBI radio observations for a monitoring campaign of supernova SN2008iz. The late-time radio light curve evolution shows flux-density flares at between 970 and 1400 days, which does not show signs of decline at least from results examined. The derived spectral index also shows no signs of evolution and remains steep ~−1 throughout the period, unlike that of SN1993J which started flattening at day 970. From the 4.8 and 8.4GHz VLBI images, the supernova  expansion is seen to start with shell like structure that gets more and more asymmetric, then breaks up in the later epochs with bright structures dominating the southern part of the ring, with an average expansion velocity between days 73 and 1400 of 12000km/s.
Vanessa McBride, IAU-OAD/UCT, RSA
The neutron star populations of the Small Magellanic Cloud

Abstract: This talk will link the radio pulsars population of Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) with the accreting X-ray pulsar population, using population synthesis models to predict what we might observe through future surveys of the SMC.
Elizabeth Naluminsa Kyambogo, Uganda
HI Scaling Relations in WISE-WHISP Galaxies

Abstract: We present the global scaling relations between the neutral hydrogen gas, the stellar disk and the star forming disk in a sample of 228 nearby galaxies that are both spatially and spectrally resolved. We have used HI data from the Westerbork survey of HI in Irregular and Spiral galaxies (WHISP) and Near Infrared (3.4 μm, 11.6 μm) data from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) survey, combining two datasets that are well-suited to such a study in terms of uniformity, resolution and sensitivity. We utilize a novel method of deriving scaling relations for quantities enclosed within the stellar disk rather than integrated over the entire HI disk. We also present new HI intensity maps for the WHISP survey derived using a robust noise rejection technique along with corresponding velocity fields.
Lina Canas, IAU OAO, Japan
The IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach: Building Bridges Through International Cooperation (invited)

Abstract: The goal of the IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach (OAO) is to engage the public in astronomy through access to astronomical information and communication of the science of astronomy. Our work focuses on building bridges between the IAU and the global astronomy community of outreach professionals, educators, amateur and professional astronomers and the general public. Through international cooperation, we envision to make astronomy a science that is accessible to all. Here I will present the collaborative framework of our programmes and how the community can engage with the IAU-driven outreach programmes.
Markus Pössel, IAU OAE, Germany
The IAU Office of Astronomy for Education

Abstract: Since January 2020, the International Astronomical Union has an Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE). The OAE, which joins the previously existing IAU Offices for Astronomy for Development (OAD), Astronomy Outreach (OAO) and Young Astronomers (OYA) is hosted at Haus der Astronomie, a center for astronomy education and outreach operated by the Max Planck Society in Heidelberg, Germany. The talk outlines the mission of the OAE, the current state of the office and its collaborative structure – notably the National Astronomy Education Coordinator Teams (NAEC Teams), and the OAE Centers and OAE Nodes, the activities that have already started and those that are planned for the
ScienceEducation, Development, and Outreach
Charles Takalana, AfAS, DSI, SARAO, WITS University, RSA
Simulated differential observations of the Sunyaev-Zel’dovich Effect: Probing the Dark Ages and Epoch of Reionization

Abstract:
This work presents an analytical approach for studying the cosmological 21cm background signal from the Dark Ages (DA) and subsequent Epoch of Reionization (EoR). We simulate differential observations of a galaxy cluster to demonstrate how these epochs can be studied with a specific form of the Sunyaev-Zel’dovich Effect called the SZE-21cm. This work produces simulated maps of the SZE-21cm and shows that the SZE-21cm can be extracted from future observations with low-frequency radio interferometers such as the Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array (HERA) and the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). In order to simulate near realistic scenarios, we look into cosmic variance noise, incorporate and take into account the effects of foregrounds, thermal noise, and angular resolution for our simulated observations. We further extend this exploration by averaging over a sample of galaxy clusters to mitigate the effects of cosmic variance and instrumental noise. The impact of point source contamination is also studied. Lastly, we apply this technique to the results of the EDGES collaboration, which in 2018 reported an absorption feature of the global 21cm background signal centred at 78 MHz. The challenges to be addressed in order to achieve the objectives of this work include errors that arise due to cosmic variation, instrumental noise and point source contamination. Our approach demonstrates the potential of the SZE-21cm as an indirect probe for the DA and EoR, and we conclude that the spectral features of the SZE-21cm from our simulated observations yield results that are close to prior theoretical predictions and that the SZE-21cm can be used to test the validity of the EDGES detection.
Prospery Simpemba, Copperbelt University, Zambia 
Astronomy Education in primary schools as a foundation for STEM & Impact of AstroLab, Go-Lab and NASE workshops, Case Analyses

Abstract: Many efforts have been done to advance astronomy education at tertiary level. We seek to look back at foundation classes (primary and secondary) and introduce astronomy to serve as a foundation for science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. While at tertiary level we ride on the starlihgt in the university lab project (AstroLab) to advance astronomy, we have started to work in the framework of the Network for Astronomy School Education (NASE) to introduce astronomy in primary and secondary schools in Zambia. The first NASE workshop took place at the University of Zambia in December 2019 and a follow-up workshop is planned for April 2020. We discus steps being taken to introduce astronomy in primary and secondary schools in Zambia and discuss how this model or strategy can be escalated to other countries in the sub-region.

Since 2016, we have conducted starlight in the University Laboratory (AstroLab), Network for Astronomy School Education (NASE) and Go-Lab workshops in Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. This has helped to make astronomy relevant to stakeholders and we have managed to tap into resource persons that can help escalate the use of astronomy as a tool for development and as a gate-way for STEM advancement. We present the impact analyses of these workshops and the future landscape.
James Chibueze, North-West University, RSA
MeerKAT reveals an interaction between jets and intra-cluster magnetic layer


Abstract: Galaxy clusters are known to harbour magnetic field. The extent of the influence of intra-cluster magnetic field on cluster member galaxies remains an unresolved question. Intra-cluster magnetic field can be observed at the density contact discontinuity formed by cool and dense plasma running into hot ambient plasma, and the discontinuity exists in the central region of a merging galaxy cluster Abell3376. Here we report on unambiguous evidence of an interaction between relativistic electrons and intra-cluster magnetic fields from MeerKAT observations of a radio galaxy MRC 0600-399 possessing bent jets. Contrary to typical bent jets, the jet shows a 90-degree bend at the contact discontinuity and the collimated jet further extends over 100 kpc from the bend point. The spectral index flattens downstream of the bend point, indicating cosmic-ray re-acceleration. High-resolution numerical simulations reveal that the ordered magnetic field along the discontinuity, at which the intra-cluster magnetic field can be compressed and amplified, plays a significant role to the change in the direction of the jet propagation. The overall morphology of the bent jet bears remarkable similarities with the simulations, which greatly strengthens our understanding of the interaction between relativistic electrons and intra-cluster magnetic field.
Mirjana Povic, ESSTI, Ethiopia 
Teachers’ trainings in Africa and STEM for GIRLS initiative

Abstract: Teachers form fundamental part of our educational system and are essential for development of astronomy and space science in schools. Network for Astronomy School Education (NASE), as one of the IAU working groups, aims in teaching teachers astronomy and teaching teachers how to teach astronomy through practical approach. In this talk we will summarise the activities of NASE carried out in different African countries, discuss on some of the challenges observed, and share the ideas on how we can strengthen the networks and improve the joint work and knowledge sharing with teachers for the benefit of all. In the same line teachers are fundamental for improving in future the participation of girls in STEM fields, whose lack is still very much significant. In this talk we will also introduce recently launched ‘STEM for GIRLS in Ethiopia’ initiative whose aim is to inspire and motivate more girls in future to do STEM fields, through both direct activities with girls and through teachers involvement.
Hassan Abdalla, University of Namibia, Namibia
Probing fundamental physics and cosmology using Gamma-ray observations


Abstracts: Gamma-ray photons from distant astronomical objects with energies greater than the threshold energy for electron-positron pair creation are expected to be annihilated due to their absorption by extragalactic background light.
Lorentz symmetry (invariance) is considered to be one of the pillars of modern physics and a fundamental symmetry in Quantum Field Theory.
At energies approaching the Planck energy scale $10^19$ GeV, several quantum-gravity theories predict that familiar concepts such as Lorentz symmetry can be broken. Such extreme energies are currently unreachable by experiments on Earth, but for photons traveling over cosmological distances, the accumulated deviations from the Lorentz symmetry may be measurable using the Cherenkov Telescope Array ( like H.E.S.S. ).
In this presentation we will discuss how we can probe fundamental physics and cosmology using gamma-ray observations.
Carl Pennypacker, UC Berkeley, USA
Encouraging Results from an Online Teacher Training Workshop in Astronomy Education for Uganda Secondary Teachers


Abstract: For 14 Saturday morning, a pilot cadre of over a dozen Uganda physics teachers attended Global Hands-On Universe (GHOU) Astronomy Workshops. The workshop was carried over the Internet with Zoom. All sessions have been recorded and linked in a Moodle Course, along with all other materials, for future learning, discussion, and review. The teachers were supplied Samsung Tablets to join the course, and teachers used their own or subsidized smart-phone hotspot data connections.  They learned to use remote automated telescopes, analyze .fts images, and all the while learn science, Information Technology, and math that is essential for students’ STEM development. This program is a collaboration between the Uganda National Curriculum Development Center and GHOU, and is particularly important nos.  Astronomy has become part of the Uganda National Curriculum, yet teachers have received little training in astronomy through their own education.  Tremendous gains in astronomy knowledge and interest occurred for a majority of the teachers, and there is great enthusiasm for extending this program, and finding a way to make this a regular part of teacher’s lives. We are seeking other partners so we can expand this work to other nations, and are eager to listen to the fine colleagues in this assembly.
Louis Perenon, UWC, RSA, 
Multitasking the growth of structures


Abstract: The study of cosmic acceleration and understanding its nature is nowadays one of the important branches in the field of cosmology. Searches to perfect our knowledge of gravity has triggered a vast amount of research material as much on the theoretical side than the observational one. Now more than even with upcoming large scale galaxy surveys such as SKA or EUCLID.  In this context, I would like to present a model independent approach trace departures from the predictions of the standard model of cosmology using the growth of structures. We use Gaussian process reconstruction of forecasts data in particular highlighting the benefits of the multi-tasking approach.
Joshua Kalognia, SIR-Institute for Science, 
Promoting Radio Astronomy in Ghana through School Visit and Astronomy clubs

Abstract:
School visits and astronomy club sessions were carried out in Ghana to promote radio astronomy. Astronomy clubs were created in seven Junior High Schools in Greater-Accra region of Ghana namely: Kuntunse M/A Basic 1, 2, 3 and 4, Katakpor D/M Basic School, Jerremite International School and Unity Baptist Academy. There was an increase in the awareness of the Ghana Radio Astronomy Observatory (GRAO) and it benefits to the local community and Ghana through initial presentations given at the seven schools and also during the club visit to the GRAO. Also there was an increase in the general understanding of astronomy and radio astronomy in particular during the club sessions. Assessment sheets were used to test the students understanding. They were assessed prior and after the session. Hands-on activities were organized to help the students understand the concepts better. A teacher training workshop was organized for the astronomy club patrons to empower them to continue running astronomy club sessions in future. There was great enthusiasm to learn more from both students and teachers involved and the feedback from students and teachers showed that this project can help inspire more students to take up STEM courses and consider careers within.
Brenda Namumba, Rhodes University, RSA
The NGC 7232 galaxy group with MeerKAT

Abstract: We report the discovery of large amounts of previously undetected cold neutral atomic hydrogen (HI) around the core triplet galaxies in the nearby NGC 7232 galaxy group with MeerKAT. With a physical resolution of ∼1 kpc, we detect a complex web of low surface brightness HI emission down to a 4σ column density level of 1 × 1019 cm−2 (over 44 km s−1 ). The newly discovered HI streams extend over ∼20 arcmin corresponding to 140 kpc in projection. This is ∼3 times the HI extent of the galaxy triplet (52 kpc). The Hi debris has an HI mass of ∼6.6 ×109 M⊙, more than 50% of the total HI mass of the triplet. Within the galaxy triplet, NGC 7233 and NGC 7232 have lost a significant amount of HI while NGC 7232B appears to have an excess of HI. The HI  deficiency in NGC 7232 and NGC 7233 indicates that galaxy-galaxy interaction in the group concentrates on this galaxy pair while the other disc galaxies have visited them over time. In comparison to the AMIGA sample of isolated galaxies we find that with regards to its total HI mass the NGC 7232/3 galaxy triplet is not HI deficient. Despite the many interactions associated to the triplet galaxies, no HI seems to have been lost from the group (yet). Our discovery highlights the powerful capabilities of MeerKAT for spectral line observations.
ScienceEducation, Development, and Outreach
Rajeev Manick, SAAO, RSA
The Binary nature of the central star of the PPN IRAS 08005-2356

Abstract: Although the mechanism behind producing bipolar pre-planetary nebulae (PPNe) is thought to be closely related to a binary system, there is not much observational evidence for binarity among PPNe. Only a handful binaries are known among such systems, which are challenging theoretical models that require a companions to produce bipolar shapes. In this talk, I will present the detection of a long-period binary in the nucleus of the bipolar PPN IRAS 08005-2356. This is arguably only the third binary known in a PPN. We also report on the appearance of high velocity outflows (jets) launched by the main sequence companions with de-projected velocities up to 231 km/s seen at phases when the luminous primary is behind the jet. The discovery of a binary central star in IRAS 08005-2356 not only adds further to our knowledge of binary evolution among evolved stars but also provides strong observational evidence that binarity is a key ingredient in bipolar PPNe shaping.
Nadeem Oozeer, SARAO, RSA
How do we up-skill Africa through the JEDI?

Abstract: “True learning occurs when learners actively engage with knowledgeable teachers and experts. The scientific conference is an event that traditionally provides a venue for researchers to advertise the result of years of research without giving participants the know-how on performing research. Research is best learned through active participation, where the ability to work in teams is critical for success. One of the main challenges in Africa, is to achieve high value output in; Education, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Astronomy, especially for the 4th Industrial Revolution readiness and big up-coming astronomy facilities.
The Joint Exchange Development Initiative (JEDI) is a concept to enhance development and education via direct transfer of skills and expertise in any specific field. It is an initiative to provide development via joint exchange among stakeholders. The JEDI was run outside South Africa in Mauritius, in 2011. Various JEDIs have been conducted in other African countries; Kenya, Namibia, Mozambique and Madagascar. We will show how this initiative has allowed young Africans who have been through this training, to join postgraduate studies all around the world. We also show case how the JEDI has evolved with the 4th Industrial Revolution.

Marisa Geyer, SARAO, RSA
Pulsars with MeerKAT and the giant bursts from PSR J0540-6919 in the LMC

Abstract: In this talk I will give an introduction to spinning neutron stars called pulsars – some of the most dense and exotic objects in the Milky Way, and show how well suited MeerKAT is to timing the pulsations from these clocks of the night sky. In particular I will showcase MeerKAT data from a young pulsar in the Large Magellanic Clouds: PSR J0540-6919. This is one of the most distant known pulsars, previously only faintly observable at radio wavelengths with the Parkes telescope in Australia. With MeerKAT’s increased sensitivity we discover a set of giant pulses of unprecedented quality. I discuss the energy distribution and features of these giant pulses, and consider what analysing them teaches us about the complex process of pulsar radio emission.
Michelle Gerbaldi, Institut d’Astrophysiq ue de Paris (IAP), France
Telescopic Observations from School to University: Practical Activities for Scientific Skills

Abstract: “The widespread interest in astronomy can be tapped not only to increase knowledge but also to illuminate the nature of science and to give to the pupils more interest for scientific studies.
Often, when astronomical lessons are planned, kids and students ask: are real telescopic observations possible? Our answer is: yes, but for a dedicated purpose. This answer is presented in two different contexts at School and at the University with the Astrolab tutorial . Only the most well-resourced school can afford a telescope, even not permanently mounted. Today, the access to a distant and robotic telescope is easier, offering real observations, which can then be transformed into “authentic science” by the pupils.
Astronomical concepts for kids at primary school can be appreciated with naked eyes even in a location with light pollution. This part of the observations must not be forgotten, as it can be the opportunity to involve the parents and the local community.
At university level, Astrolab allows undergraduate students in sciences to plan, to perform real-time observations on remote telescopes, and then transforming those observations into a scientific result.
Astrolab is running in collaboration with colleagues from Nigeria, South Africa, and Zambia. Examples of Astrolab implementation into African universities will be presented, as well as the development of a “direct” distance learning with Zoom that already started in 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Magdeline Matobe, NWU, RSA
Asteroseismic and astrometric characterization of members in the NGC 6866 open cluster

Abstract: Kepler spacecraft field of view has four open clusters and amongst the four, NGC 6866 is the youngest (age = 0.65 Gyr) and least studied. One can expect to find many Delta Scuti/ binary stars in a young open cluster. The most difficult aspect of studying an open cluster is the identification of cluster members. An open issue to address is distinguishing between members
and non-members of the NGC 6866 open cluster. Identifying members helps with searching for binary stars. The age and distance of an open cluster can be determined from binary stars. In this research, we aim to determine the age and distance of the NGC 6866 open cluster using binary stars in the cluster. Kepler and Gaia satellite data were used to discriminate between
members and non-members of the open cluster. All Gaia satellite data for the stars within a radius of 10 arcmin in the vicinity of the NGC 6866 open cluster were downloaded using VizieR website. Kepler photometric data extracted by Balona et al. 2013 was analysed. Most probable members were determined by calculating the distance moduli of the selected stars and were placed in the H-R diagram. The H-R diagram helped us to determine locations of stars on the cluster. Delta Scuti stars were found on the main sequence of the NGC 6866 open cluster. In conclusion, binary stars will be searched amongst Delta Scuti stars using binarogram method, whereby the age and distance of the NGC 6866 open cluster will be estimated
from the identified binary stars.
Margaret Ikape, University of Toronto, Canada
The Pan-African School for Emerging Astronomers

Abstract: The Pan-African School for Emerging Astronomers (PASEA) is a short course in astronomy for university students and teachers from across Africa, designed and taught by a collaboration of astronomers from Africa, Europe, North America, Asia, and Australia. Our program started in West Africa in 2013, where it was known as the West African International Summer School for young Astronomers, WAISSYA, and has been held four times in Nigeria and Ghana. Building on our success and the enthusiasm of African participants outside West Africa, our team decided to expand WAISSYA to a Pan-African program. Our goals include building a critical mass of astronomers across Africa, and exchanging ideas about teaching and learning between Africa and outside. We will highlight four major aspects of PASEA and their significance to Astronomy for Development across Africa: (1) our innovative curriculum focusing on “inquiry,” in which students ask and investigate their own mini-research questions in small teams; (2) “paired-teaching,” in which international partners teach together to exchange and learn new ways of teaching; (3) our active alumni community; and (4) our evaluations to measure the effectiveness of the program. The PASEA team is excited to explore potential new collaborations with AfAS participants.
Priya Hasan, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad, India
Kinematics and Progress of Star Formation in Star Clusters with Kottamia Observatory

Abstract: We have an ongoing research program with the Kottamia Observatory, NRIAG, Egypt on the studies of star clusters since the past several years. Using the 2-m telescope at Kottamia as well as data from 2MASS, Gaia DR2, WISE, etc we have made detailed studies of star clusters to obtain their parameters like distance, age, reddening as well as to study their dynamical states, results of which have been published in various articles. Training in Data Analysis was done in NRIAG in 2014, given to a visiting student from NRIAG in 2016 and is also planned in April this year. I shall briefly present our results and future plans.
Gyula Jozsa, SARAO, RSA
Galactic Fidelity: an Africa-centered international learning initiative

Abstract: “The Galactic Fidelity (GalFid) meeting and seminar series is organised by Rhodes University (South Africa) and the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory. It originated from two workshops (“”workschools””) held in South Africa for young astronomers — with the topic of radio interferometric data reduction and analysis in the context of galaxy evolution — and a seminar series at Rhodes University. The online seminar, focused on galaxy evolution and dynamics, started early in 2018. Our main target community is astronomy students in Africa, as for many students (especially from this community) the internet offers the only means to meet fellow students and senior scientists.
The seminar features contributions by experts in the field, as well as student contributions. As a result of the interest generated by the brilliant contributions from the internationally-renowned senior members of the seminar, we have participants from all across the globe. The workschools attracted a large amount of international participants, including a high-quality international teaching body. We present the concept, successes and pitfalls, and discuss whether and how initiatives like this can become an educational stimulus for young astronomers in the African community.
Sarah Buchner, SARAO, RSA
Pulsar timing on MeerKAT

Abstract: “MeerTIME is one of the key science projects on the 64-dish MeerKAT telescope. The first science observations were made in February 2019. Pulsar timing requires that telescope data samples are tagged with their precise time of arrival.
In this talk I will describe the precise time measurement system used on MeerKAT and describe the process of commissioning pulsar timing on MeerKAT.”
Science     Education, Development, and Outreach
Babatunde Akinsanmi, University of porto, Portugal
The quest to find rings aroundexoplanets

Abstract: Planetary rings are exciting features yet to be detected around exoplanets despite their prevalence around the giant planets and other rocky bodies of the solar system. Just as the planets in our Solar System motivated the search for exoplanets, the rings of various planetary bodies of the Solar system have raised questions on the existence of rings around exoplanets. In this presentation, I will talk about the search for rings, the importance of detecting them around exoplanets, the methods employed and a particular case of possible rings around an exoplanet.
Bonnie Thurber, Hands on Universe, Lawrence Berkeley Labs,USA
Astronomy Research by Student Teams Modeled after Real Astronomy Research

Abstract: “100 Hours for 100 Schools (100/100) is a collaboration among several organizations involved in providing high quality and well supported astronomy education programs. The 100 schools come from the 1,300 schools that have completed International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC) and other interested and approved schools. Teachers from these schools support their students as they learn how to use LCO.Global’s remote telescope network by taking pictures of objects in the sky, enhancing the images with photometry, and sharing and discussing them. As students learn more, they move to a more advanced interface. The most advanced students and their teachers are currently working with an astrophysicist to discover information about exoplanets.
Presentation attendees learn about working online with remote telescopes and how astronomy can also advance math skills and critical thinking. Participants will also learn how to join IASC and work in IASC as well as the 100/100 project. A Q&A discussion will close this presentation.
Benkhaldoun Zouhair, Cadi AyyadUniversity, Oukaimeden Observatory, Morocco
Monitoring the activity and composition of the first interstellar comet 2I/Borisov with TRAPPIST telescopes 

Abstract: 2I/Borisov is the first active interstellar comet observed in the Solar System, allowing for the first time to sample the composition of a planetary building block from an extrasolar system. The comet was discovered on August 20, 2019. In this work, we report on the regular observations of 2I/Borisov with broad- and narrow-band filters equipped with TRAPPIST telescopes. We followed the activity of the comet from September 11, 2019 (rh=2.8 au inbound) until the beginning of March 2020 when it was 2.9 au outbound. The comet reached its maximum activity on November 29, 2019 (10 days before perihelion) with an apparent magnitude of 16.50±0.04 measured within an aperture radius of 5″ in R filter, an A(0)fp(R) dust proxy = 135±7 cm and CN production rate of Q(CN)=(4.5±0.7)10^24 molecules/s (using a Haser model and vp=vd=1km/s). We will also present spectroscopic observations of comet 2I/Borisov obtained with the 4.2 m William Herschel and 2.5 m Isaac Newton telescopes between September 30 and October 13, 2019.
Maram Kaire, Association Senegalaise pour la Promotion de l’Astronomie, Senegal
Senegal Observatio n of the stellar Occultation of Polymele

Abstract: “Coordinated by NASA, the Lucy mission’s objective is to fly over an asteroid in the main belt and six Trojan asteroids of Jupiter. A preparatory phase is to determine the size and shape of the asteroids. This measurement is carried out when they pass in front of a star, a phenomenon called stellar occultation.
On the night of 23-24/09/20, researchers were able to observe a stellar occultation by (15094), Polymele, the smallest of the six asteroids, which will be flown by the Lucy mission in 2027. Sponsored by NASA, IRD and CNRS and conducted by the Senegalese Association for the Promotion of Astronomy (ASPA), this observation mobilized about forty researchers. Fourteen telescopes were deployed at different observation sites around Kaolack (Senegal).
Despite the development of a large storm cell over the observation sites, the deployment strategy of the telescopes proved effective in observing the stellar occultation. The collected data will allow to obtain a first estimate of the size of the Polymele asteroid, while the shape of the object will be specified by the next observation campaigns.
This successful observation campaign, carried out by Senegalese astronomers, marks an important step in the development of astronomical research in Senegal and represents a new achievement for the African Initiative for Planetary and Space Science, launched in 2017. “
Timothy Egbuim, National Space Research and Development Agency, Nigeria
Evolutionary Panspermia: Planets MicroLife and Beyond

Abstract: “Abstract
Panspermia is a concept that proposes the genesis of life on earth and can either be interstellar or interplanetary. The proposed mechanisms of panspermia include lithopanspermia, accidental panspermia, directed panspermia and radiopanspermia. The space environment has high ultraviolet radiation, but the ability of some extremophiles like tardigrades and microbes to survive in the vacuity of space and ISS is not negligible. This overview studied some parameters on the Martian planet and compared them with the Earth. The parameters of the Mars planet compared to the Earth include; the presence of organosedimentary structures, water channels from runoffs and the presence of biosignature. The Mars curiosity probe as of 2014 to 2017 has detected variations in plumes less than 1 ppb but there have been spikes of 21 ppb and above. In comparison to Earth, there is an increase in Earth methane level and as of June 2020 stands at 1872.2 ppb. This overview also studied the Europa moon and Exoplanets. From this study, Mars, Europa and Exoplanets like Kepler-452b, Kepler-1649c, TRAPPIST-1d, TOI 700d have potentials for extraterrestrial life. Currently, with the help of molecular biology, the exploration for extraterrestrial life inside our solar system and beyond has taken a new dimension. With the new ability to isolate, sequence and identify microbes aboard the ISS using MiniPCR and MinION, the exploration for extraterrestrial life has become more fascinating.
Ikechuwu Anthony Obi, NASRDACentre for Basic Space Science, Nigeria
A compact and portable hydrogen line radio telescope for education and outreach 

Abstract: “Radio astronomy has the unique advantage , at least over the much older optical astronomy, of its feasibility of daytime observations which in turn allows for its inclusion in the curriculum activities of tertiary institutions. However this advantage is yet to be harnessed in most Nigerian Universities offering astronomy courses.
We present the design, construction and performance of a compact hydrogen line radio telescope that will be primarily used for teaching radio astronomy and at the same time portable enough to be used during outreach activities. Experiences gained in this kind of project will benefit not only students in astronomy but also those in engineering (electronics and mechanical) and computer science.”
Salma Sylla, University Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar, Senegal
Measuring variability with small telescopes: Monitoring impact flashes on Jupiter and the study of variable star

Abstract: “In this work we present PhD research that can be expanded at a national level with the goal to help to develop professional astronomy and astrophysics in Senegal.
Recently, important scientific astronomical activities in the country have been the two stellar occultation missions initiated by NASA in 2018 (Arrokoth) and in 2020 (Polymele). They prove that with modest equipment Senegal can take its place on the world map of astronomy.
To carry out this project multiple observing campaigns using small telescopes are carried out, thanks to the collaboration with international partners (Institut de Mécanique Céleste et Calcul des Éphémérides, Oukaimeden Observatory, University of Antwerp).
On the one hand, the study of impact flashes in Jupiter allows us to participate in improving the estimates for the rate of impact flux in the solar system, like several programs such as the French network FRIPON monitoring meteorites on Earth.
On the other hand, through data of variable stars obtained with small ground-based telescopes we can contribute to a better understanding of stellar structure and evolution.
This PhD program is supported by the Embassy of France, the Belgian VLIR-UOS program, the University of Antwerp, and the Organsitaion for Women in Science in the Developing World (OWSD). It is also part of a continental-wide Initiative for Planetary and Space Sciences (http://africapss.org).”
Jean-Baptiste Kikwaya Eluo, Vatican Observation, Italy
Physical Characterization of Near-Earth Objects (From spectroscopy back to spectrophotometry)

Abstract: With the introduction of spectroscopy, does it mean the end of spectrophotometry? Since 2012, we are conducting a project on physical characterization of fast rotator NEOS whose V magnitude ranges between 18.0 and 19.5 on a 2-meter class telescope (VATT) at Mt. Graham, Arizona, USA. We use Johnson-Cousins broadband filters (B, V, R, and I). The first real taxonomy of asteroids from Chapman, Morisson, and Zellner (CMZ taxonomy, Chapman et al. 1975) was based on spectrophotometry. Three distinct groups (C, S, and U)
were detected. The second taxonomy based also on spectrophotometry was Tholen’s (Zellner et al. 1984), from 589 reflectance spectra produced with ECAS system (Eight-Color Asteroid Survey). SMASSI and SMASSII, run with the goal of reproducing ECAS reflectance spectra, used spectroscopy. A new taxonomy, Bus-DeMeo taxonomy, became available with three main groups: Scomplex, C-complex, X-Complex (see Bus and Binzel, 2002a; Bus and Binzel, 2002b; DeMeo et al. 2009, DeMeo et al, 2015 in Asteroids IV). The introduction of spectroscopy in characterizing asteroids, does it mean the obsolescence of spectrophotometry?
Knowing that spectrometers on 2-meter class telescopes have a limiting V magnitude around 16, it becomes difficult to use spectroscopy on faint Neos targets. Therefore, we had to go back to spectrophotometry. But the comparison with the actual observed spectra and with the meteorite spectra must be performed (Popescu et al. 2012) for validation.
Encarni Romero Colmenero, SAAO/SALT, RSA
An update on SALT

Abstract: I present an update on the current status of SALT, the largest optical telescope in the African continent, including some recent science highlights and future plans.
David Buckley, SAAO, RSA
Observing Optical Transients in Africa

Abstract: This talk will review the progress of the successful SALT transient follow-up programme, which is in its 5th year. Science highlights will be presented for a variety of different astrophysical transient classes, demonstrating also the dynamic response to new science discoveries by other multi-wavelength and multi-messenger facilities. Future prospects will be discussed in the context of the start of the Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) by the Rubin Observatory, expected to begin in 2023. Opportunities to expand transient research throughout the African continent will be discussed.
Susan Murabana, APA, Kenya
African Planetarium Association 

Abstract: African Planetarium Association is dedicated to creating a network of planetaria across Africa while connecting them to the international planetarium community. APA is an affiliate of the International Planetarium Association and currently running under the umbrella of African Astronomical Society. We present on the activities of the association and our future plans.
ScienceEducation, Development, and Outreach
Alvine Kamaha, University at Albany, State University of New York, USA
The LUX-ZEPLIN Dark Matter Experiment

Abstract: An astonishing conclusion of modern cosmology is that about 80% of the Universe matter is in an unknown and yet to be discovered form so-called Dark Matter. Searching for this missing mass has risen to the forefront of particle physics research. Numerous experiments around the world are in the race for its discovery. Among them, the LUZ-ZEPLIN (LZ) experiment, a liquid Xenon time projection chamber, building on the success of its predecessors to detect heavy Dark Matter particles with an unprecedented sensitivity. In this talk, I will first discuss the stringent assay and cleanliness program developed by LZ to mitigate against radioactive backgrounds during its construction phase. I will then discuss the sophisticated calibration systems developed by LZ to thoroughly understand the detector response to various background types; adding to the former to ensure the experiment reaches its targeted sensitivity.
Alemiye Yacob Mamo, EAROAD/ESSTI, Ethiopia 
Overview of EAROAD and Space Science Development in Ethiopia

Abstract: In the past one decade, astronomy and space science showed significant development in east African Region. The establishment of space agencies and institutes, formulation of Space policies governmental investment in space science development in terms of human resource development and infrastructures contributes a lot for its success. In Ethiopia astronomy and space science development has also gradually increased and reached to the point where a great attention is given by the government. Currently the Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute (ESSTI) and Ethiopian Space Science Society (ESSS) are the two main actors in Ethiopia working on Astronomy education and outreach in The country. The Talk is therefore focus on the role of East Africa regional office of Astronomy for development in contributing to astronomy education and outreach activities development in the region and highlights the current astronomy education and outreach activities in Ethiopia.
Michelle Lochner, South African Radio Astronomy Observatory, RSA
Anomaly Detection in Astronomy with Machine Learning

Abstract: The onset of telescopes such as the SKA and LSST will produce enormous data sets, far too large for traditional analysis techniques. Machine learning has proven invaluable in handling
large data volumes and automating many tasks traditionally done by human scientists. In this talk, I will discuss how machine learning for anomaly detection can help automate the
process of locating unusual astronomical objects in large datasets thus enabling new cosmic discoveries.
Nnaemeka Dom Onyeuwaoma, NASRDACentre for Basic Space Science, Nsukka, Nigeria 
The West African Regional Office of Astronomy for Development (WAROAD): The Journey So Fa

Abstract: The West African Regional Office of Astronomy for Development (WAROAD) is one of the Regional Offices of Astronomy for Development (ROADs) established by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). The goal of establishing the ROADs is to partner with IAU in implementing the astronomy for development programs described in the IAU Strategic Plan 2010 – 2020, “Astronomy for the Developing World.” This Plan is an ambitious blueprint for using astronomy to further global capacity building throughout the decade. WAROAD as a body encompasses all the countries within the West African sub-region, the regional node is hosted by Centre for Basic Space Science (CBSS) at Nsukka, Nigeria. So far, seven countries have keyed into the WAROAD, they are Nigeria, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Cote d’ivoire, Senegal, Gabon and Cameroon. The activities of WAROAD and the partner countries include among others: organization of astronomy and space science summer schools, Workshops, outreach programs encouraging the development of astronomy/space science in other West Africa Countries, endeavor to establish a partnership with upcoming SKA for the benefit of Africans and the world at large.
Stephen Potter, SAAO, RSA
SAAO’s Intelligent Observatory (IO)

Abstract: “The vision for the SAAO is to have all the SAAO facilities (telescopes and instruments) integrated into the IO. The operational model for the IO will add additional functionality to the operations of the observatory. For example, in addition to the traditional call for proposals schedule, the IO will allow astronomers to submit observation proposals anytime. Observers will also be able to define whether they want their observation to be placed in a queue for automated observation, operated manually from the Cape Town control room, operated manually from a remote desktop anywhere in the world or by actually operating the facility manually on-site.”
Prospery Simpemba, Copperbelt University, Zambia 
Southern African Regional Office of Astronomy for Development (SAROAD) 7 Years after Establishment

Abstract: “Many efforts have been done to advance astronomy education at tertiary level. We seek to look back at foundation classes (primary and secondary) and introduce astronomy to serve as a foundation for science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. While at tertiary level we ride on the starlihgt in the university lab project (AstroLab) to advance astronomy, we have started to work in the framework of the Network for Astronomy School Education (NASE) to introduce astronomy in primary and secondary schools in Zambia. The first NASE workshop took place at the University of Zambia in December 2019 and a follow-up workshop is planned for April 2020. We discus steps being taken to introduce astronomy in primary and secondary schools in Zambia and discuss how this model or strategy can be escalated to other countries in the sub-region.
Since 2016, we have conducted starlight in the University Laboratory (AstroLab), Network for Astronomy School Education (NASE) and Go-Lab workshops in Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. This has helped to make astronomy relevant to stakeholders and we have managed to tap into resource persons that can help escalate the use of astronomy as a tool for development and as a gate-way for STEM advancement. We present the impact analyses of these workshops and the future landscape.
Patrick Woudt, UCT, RSA
ThunderKAT and MeerLICHT: a multiwavelength study of astrophysical transients

Abstract: In July 2018, MeerKAT started its science mission. One of the 5-year legacy programs on MeerKAT is the ThunderKAT large survey project which aims to find, identify and understand high energy astrophysical processes via their radio emission. At the same time, the MeerLICHT robotic wide-field optical telescope is permanently dedicated to the MeerKAT observing schedule, and will provide simultaneous optical data in six filters for all MeerKAT pointings. In this presentation, I will give an overview of the first scientific results from ThunderKAT and MeerLICHT.
Sylvain Bouley, Société Astronomique de France, France 
L’Astronomie Afrique, the first astronomy webzine in Africa 

Abstract: The French Astronomical Society (SAF) is pleased to announce the launch of the first online magazine dedicated to astronomy and space and intended for sky lovers in Frenchspeaking Africa. L’Astronomie Afrique, a web magazine, quarterly, free and accessible to all, will be produced with the SAF’s knowhow acquired over more than a century of publishing their monthly magazine L’Astronomie, but also thanks to the collaboration of many African and French-speaking astronomers within the framework of the Africa Initiative for Planetary and Space Sciences (AFIPSS), the Uranoscope of France, the Senegalese Association for the Promotion of Astronomy (ASPA), the African Astronomical Society (AfAS) and the French Society of Astronomy and Astrophysics (SF2A). L’Astronomie Afrique offers to its readers a dossier on different themes and news of astronomy in Africa. It will also give tips on observing, planetary ephemerides and major events to be observed every 3 months. Sponsor of L’Astronomie Afrique, Hubert Reeves says: “L’Astronomie Afrique is a great opportunity to promote astronomical activity in the African community and to enable young people to find careers in this field that we love so much.” This magazine is a contribution to the new dynamic around astronomy on the African continent and we hope that it will delight all the sky enthusiasts with the passion we all share.
Tana Joseph, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
An SKA precursor view of the Small Magellanic Cloud

Abstract: A recent continuum survey of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) has been carried out with ASKAP, revealing over 8000 sources within and behind this galaxy. MeerKAT has also carried out a continuum survey of the SMC. In this talk I will discuss these two surveys and present (preliminary) results. I will also outline future work to be carried out using these data sets, as well as X-ray, optical, infrared and gravitational wave observations.
ScienceEducation, Development, and Outreach
Tahina Princy Ranaivoma nana, University of Manchester, UK
The SUNBIRD survey: Young massive star clusters hosted by strongly starforming galaxies

Abstract: “Over the past few years, a number of astronomy groups and associations have been striving in popularizing Astronomy in Madagascar. In particular, astrophysics students which are members of the Malagasy Astronomy and Space Science, the IAU adhering organization of Madagascar, work actively in coordinating diverse outreach activities to promote astronomy and science in the country.
One of our major achievements was the success of the project entitled “Madagascar Astronomy Magazine” funded by the Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) and the Development in Africa with Radio Astronomy (DARA) project in 2018. This project targeted five high schools in a remote coastal region of Madagascar with the aim to inspire high school learners in taking interests in STEM-related careers.
Besides, the astrophysics students recently devoted their spare time to co-organize the “IAU100 Drawing Contest” themed “”Under One Sky”” as part of the IAU centenary celebration in the country. The contest was opened to different categories of participants: from primary schools to Universities, from amateurs to professionals. Around 200 entries were received.
Our community keeps growing and we make every effort to implement innovative projects by leveraging our academic skills. This is proven to enhance public awareness of Astronomy with the hope to reach every part of the country.”
Sally Macfarlane, UCT, RSA
A Full dome look at African Astronomy

Abstract: How can we use planetaria and digital domes to bring remote (and often inaccessible) astronomical facilities and their cutting-edge research to the public? This talk focuses on how the UCT IDIA Visualisation Lab is now using the Iziko Planetarium and Digital Dome in Cape Town to visualise the big data sets we receive from exciting modern multidisciplinary projects. I will also discuss the new full-length planetarium film about South African astronomy, called ‘Rising Star’, and the need for more locally-produced planeteria shows featuring relevant South African (and African)-based content.
Julien Larena, University of Cape Town, RSA
Line-of-sight effects in gravitational lensing

Abstract: This talk will present a new, unifying formalism to describe the gravitational lensing by many lensing events along the line-of-sight to a distant source. This formalism will then be applied to the case of a strong lensing event modified by a collection of weak perturbers to illustrate how the well-known properties of large-scale weak lensing might allow one to lift some degeneracies in the reconstruction of the lens mass-profile. This may be of importance in the quest to an accurate way of using gravitational lensing to measure properties of the Universe on large scales, such as the Hubble constant. Finally, we will also show that the formalism may be used the other way around, i.e. by using strong lensing events to extract information on cosmic weak lensing.
Hichem Guergouri, Sirius Astronomy Association Algeria
Constantine Cosmic Caravane

Abstract: I will talk about my experience as the National Coordinator for World Space Week, with organizing many activities during this event. Also as the responsible of the planetarium in the Constantine Cosmic Caravan, Giving presentations, developping planetarium’s programs and videos and training animators on mobile planetarium.
Dejene Zewdie Woldeyes, Universidad Diego Portales, Chile
The Environments of Hot Dust Obscured Galaxies

Abstract: Hot Dust-Obscured Galaxies (Hot DOGs) are a population of hyper-luminous obscured quasars identified by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission. I will discuss our ongoing efforts to characterize the environments of Hot DOGs through the identification of nearby Lyman break galaxies (LBGs) using deep, multi-wavelength broad-band imaging. In this talk, I will present our ongoing analysis of the environment around the most luminous Hot DOG, W2246-0526 at z=4.6.
ScienceEducation, Development, and Outreach
Johnson Urama, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria
THE UNENDING RIDDLES OF NEUTRON STAR GLITCHES

Abstract: Neutron stars, generally, exhibit timing irregularities in the form of glitches and timing noise. To date, more than 600 glitches (large and small) have been reported in the conventional radio pulsars, binary pulsars, millisecond pulsars, Anomalous X-ray Pulsars (AXPs), and other manifestations of neutron stars. Observation of pulsar glitches remains a powerful tool for studying the interior of neutron stars. These glitches have continued to exhibit new features, thus making the understanding of the glitch processes and mechanisms quite intriguing and challenging. This paper discusses some of these features and their implications for the neutron star interior.
Daniel Cunnama, SAAO, RSA
The Cosmic Savannah Podcast

Abstract: The Cosmic Savannah is a podcast highlighting the professional astronomy and astrophysics happening on the African continent. Created and hosted by Dr
Jacinta Delhaize and Dr Daniel Cunnama, each episode discusses different astronomy topics, telescopes, technology and outreach initiatives throughout Africa
and features interviews with one or more members of the African astronomy community. Africa as a ‘dark continent’ is often viewed internationally and by its
citizens as a negative thing. We aim to change this attitude and show the incredible astronomy work on the continent is something to be proud of. The Cosmic
Savannah can be accessed for free online and can give a voice to those from under-represented/disadvantaged backgrounds. At the time of writing the podcast
has received over 17000 downloads from around the world with a large percentage coming from around Africa. We will discuss how the podcast aims to give a
voice to African astronomy, making the world of professional astronomy accessible to the general public, and demonstrating to the people of Africa and to the
world the excellent work happening
Nekolgne Aymard Badolo, University Joseph KIZERBO, Burkina Faso
Loss of mass of evolved stars via observations with sphere at the VLT

Abstract: During the late stages or their evolution, stars of low and intermediate mass reach the Asymptotic Giant Branch (AGB), where they expel their gas, enriched in newly processed elements,
into the interstellar medium (ISM). This mass-loss process is the main driver for the late evolution of these stars and is one of the main sources of enrichment for the ISM.
The mass-loss mechanism is linked to a combination of convection and pulsation that lead to dust formation. Radiation pressure on the dust is then efficient to carry the dust away, and
the gas is dragged along via friction.
For decades, the description of mass loss from these stars has assumed that AGB stars were single. More and more work are clearly showing that it is not the case, as e.g. the recent
Science paper by Decin et al. (2020), showing that binaries were shaping the gas outflows of most AGB stars. Studying the dust distribution near the surface of such stars is thus the key to
understand how binaries can affect their mass loss.
We performed a polarimetric imaging survey of the dust around a sample of 20 nearby AGB stars using the extreme adaptive optics instrument SPHERE on the VLT. This enabled us to map
the dust distribution around AGB stars with an angular resolution of 20 milliarcsec. I will present here some preliminary results for 3 stars, studied during my master’s degree between the
University Joseph Ki Zerbo in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) and the Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur (France).
Rosa Doran, NUCLIO, Portugal 
Digital tools and resources to empower educators and learners

Abstract: Bringing digital tools and resources to the hands of learners is a long time priority, but COVID-19 brought to light weaknesses of the educational system. Educators are not prepared to shift to a more student centre pedagogical model, to bring real research into the hands of students and to pave the way to the enrichment of students experiences by welcoming the use of digital technology. This presentation is devoted to share a very successful implementation of a cutting edge project for science learning in 7 countries in Africa. The project GOGA (Go-Lab Goes Africa) successfully reached over 600 teachers in Nigeria, Benin and Kenya (pilot countries of the project) and a few hundred more in the associate countries (Zambia, Uganda, Senegal and Ghana). Teachers empowered via GOGA training activities were more prepared to face the constrains imposed by the pandemic. Learners felt more motivated and obstacles and technological barriers were overcome with the resilience of a group of engaged educators, from urban to rural areas. The testimony of success is overwhelming. This is the story we want to share with the Afas community, a story to inspire and be replicated.
Mohamed Darwish, NRIAG, Egypt
Cosmic masers toward high-mass star forming regions  

Abstract: “Understanding the early stages of massive stars (> 8 Mʘ) formation and its evolutionary sequence is one of critical current issues in astrophysics. However, this importance the the different phases of massive star formation is still not well settle. This is due to the challenges it usually faces in both observation and theory. The challenge from
the observational side is due to several reasons: Firstly, they form at
large distances (> 1 kpc). Secondly their formation happens on much shorter time scales than their low mass counterparts. Furthermore, high-mass star formation takes
place inside high density clouds, obscuring our view of the process. Theoretically, the fundamental problem in high-mass star formation is known as the “”radiation pressure problem””. That is, the radiation pressure from the forming protostellar object is predicted to stop the accretion process when the star reaches a limit ~ 10 Mʘ.
The occurrences of the Interstellar MASERs (Microwave Amplification by Stimulated emission of Radiation) on the vicinity of such regions enable us to investigate their kinematics and physical properties on the early phases of its evolution. Among different molecular transitions, Maser lines of methanol (CH3OH), hydroxyl (OH) and water (H2O) are commonly observed towards regions of massive star formation. The present talk aims to shed some lights on the key role that masers play in tracing different phenomena associated with the formation of the massive stars. “
Nikhita Madhanpall, IAU OAD, RSA
Data science skills development in Africa with big data hackathon 

Abstract: The IAU Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) and DARA Big Data (Development in Africa through Radio Astronomy), in partnership with the Inter-University Institute For Data Intensive Astronomy (IDiA) are implementing a number of Big Data Hackathons in Africa in order to promote data-intensive research skills development ahead of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). These hackathons are part of a multi-year program which aims to provide data science and machine learning exposure through interesting real-world projects that are astronomy or development related.
Oyirwoth Patrick Abedigamba, North-West University, RSA
Kepler space observations of diperiodic and ellipsoidal star: KIC 5112836

Abstract: “We study star KIC 5112836 in the field of open cluster NGC 6819. A classification of
star KIC 5112836 is provided based on further light curve and periodogram analysis. The data used was obtained with the Kepler space mission. We find that KIC 5112836 is a diperiodic and ellipsoidal variable star. The cause of variability is suggested to be binary motion. Other possibilities in explaining the cause of variability are discussed as well.
Zoe Chee, Astronomers without Borders, Canada
Astronomers Without Borders – Building Community through Astronomy

Abstract: In 2020, Astronomers Without Borders completed strategic planning and shared our mission, vision, values and goals with the public.  We immediately began to fulfill those goals through activities designed to facilitate our members’ work with the public just as star parties and sharing educational lessons became difficult and even prohibited during the pandemic. Our month-long celebration of astronomy was delegated to online events and activities were adapted for a virtual campaign. As the global pandemic continues, AWB is now looking at another virtual Global Astronomy Month. This year with the aid of a new website focussing on building community and easing communications within our growing membership, we look towards making sharing outreach observing events, astro arts and AWB’s giving programs better and more driven by our membership and community at large.
Hambeleleni Davids, University of Namibia, Namibia
Estimating Uncertainties in the Predicted Gamma-ray Flux of Globular Clusters in the Cherenkov Telescope Array Era

Abstract: Only one Galactic globular cluster (GC), Terzan 5, has plausibly been detected in the very-high-energy range. Stacking upper limits produced by the High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.
S.S.) on the integral gamma-ray flux of a population of other GCs are very constraining for leptonic cluster emission models. Yet, uncertainty in model parameters leads to a large spread in
the predicted flux. We demonstrate that there are regions in parameter space for which the stringent H.E.S.S. stacking upper limits can be satisfied. Second, we study the uncertainties in
differential TeV flux for M15, showing that our model can satisfy the stringent MAGIC upper limits for this cluster, for typical cluster parameters. We thirdly conduct a case study on
Omega Cen, from which five pulsars have recently been detected at radio frequencies. We note that an increase in measurement accuracy on model parameters is important in order to
improve predictions of cluster fluxes so as to better guide the observational strategy of the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA).
Zara Randriamanakoto, SAAO, RSA
Star clusters and radio AGNs as vital tools to study galaxy formation and evolution

Abstract: This talk will highlight various results and the motivation behind my ongoing research: i) the investigation of young massive clusters (YMCs) in strongly star-forming galaxies using nearinfrared adaptive optics imaging and optical HST data to determine the impact of the host galaxy environment on the formation and evolution of the YMCs, ii) the search for remnant and restarted radio galaxies in deep radio continuum surveys such as MeerKAT/MIGHTEE Early Data Science to better understand the AGN life cycle and ultimately the evolution of the host galaxy.
Kenda Knowles, UKZN, RSA
Galaxy Clusters with MeerKAT

Abstract: Diffuse radio emission in galaxy clusters serves as a probe of the non-thermal processes occurring in these structures. Studying clusters over a wide range of mass and redshift can help us understand the production mechanisms for the diffuse emission, and how it relates to cluster properties and dynamics. To further this realm of study, we have embarked on a series of galaxy cluster observations with South Africa’s MeerKAT telescope. The MeerKAT’s superior sensitivity and range of resolution allow us to study large samples of galaxy clusters in a relatively small amount of time. We present here results of 13 cluster observations with MeerKAT, which includes 11 new diffuse emission detections.
Alemiye Mamo, ESSTI, Ethiopia
2020 Annular Solar Eclipse in Lalibela, Ethiopia

Abstract:
On 21 June 2020 annular solar eclipse was marked as the greatest moment of Astronomical event in Ethiopia. In most part of Ethiopia particularly in western to northern part annular solar eclipse was observed that cover the sun’s surface from 60-97% during maximum eclipse. In this invited talk we will  share the experience and lesson learnt in coordination and collaboration among East African and international community, general impression of the society before and after the annular eclipse amidst COVID-19 and the way forward for the future.
Niruj Ramanujam, SARAO, RSA
Enabling pan-African outreach campaigns: the role of AfAS

Abstract: “The panorama of astronomy outreach across Africa is as diverse as the continent itself. In this context, the Outreach Committee of AfAS aims to define its role in a way that is useful to the community of outreach practitioners and the general public in the countries across Africa. The committee does not directly organise outreach events. Instead, its function is to bring together the people working in the field, enable and support continent-wide public campaigns, and encourage the expansion and development of the outreach community in Africa. The committee has been a part of a number of successful programs in the last year. It has also established Working Groups and language networks, as well as developed collaborations and links across Africa and globally. This talk will summarise the activities of the AfAS outreach committee, discuss how they aid our objectives, and attempt to chart our future plans of action. “
Science   Education, Development, and Outreach
Ayodeji Ibitoye, University of KwaZulu Natal, RSA
Cosmological parameter estimation with thermal Sunyaev Zeldovich effect and projected density field

Abstract: We present a joint analysis of the power spectra of the \textit{Planck} Compton $y$-parameter map and the projected galaxy density field using the WISE all-sky survey. We detect the statistical correlation between the {\it Planck} tSZ map and WISE data with a significance of $9.6\sigma$. We also measure the auto-correlation spectrum for both the tSZ and the galaxy density field maps with a significance of $48.2\sigma$ and $23.6\sigma$, respectively. We then employ the halo model framework and use the measured correlations $C^{\rm gg}{\ell}$, $C^{yy}{\ell}$ and $C^{{\rm g}y}{\ell}$ to constrain the tSZ mass bias $B\equiv M{500}/M^{\rm tSZ}{500}$. We also fit for the galaxy bias, which is included with an explicit redshift dependence as $b{\rm g}(z)=b_{\rm g}^0(1+z)^{\alpha}$. We constrain the tSZ bias to be $B =1.678\pm 0.035$, i.e.
$1-b_{\rm H}=0.60 \pm 0.01$ (68\% confidence level). For the galaxy bias parameter we obtain
$b_{\rm g}^0=1.039 \pm 0.002$ and $\alpha=0.623\pm0.015$, which is the tightest constraint up to date. Incoming data sets from future CMB and galaxy surveys will allow to probe the large-scale gas
distribution in more details.
Ramasamy Venugopal, IAU-OAD, RSA
Astronomy for Development: an African view

Abstract: The International Astronomical Union (IAU) established its first global office – Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD)- on the African continent in 2011. That decision, partly driven by needs in the region, coincided with the start of a decade of astounding growth in astronomy in Africa. The OAD, in its pursuit of development using astronomy, has both benefited from this growth in astronomy as well as contributed in specific ways to astronomy and larger society on the continent. This talk will discuss the Astro4Dev movement in the African context and provide some examples of impactful projects making a difference in people’s lives.
Imogen Whittam, University of Oxford / UWC, RSA/UK
Exploring radio galaxies with the MIGHTEE survey

Abstract: MIGHTEE is a galaxy evolution survey currently underway with the MeerKAT radio telescope. Once complete, the survey will cover 20 square degrees in four fields to a depth of ~1 uJy rms/beam at 1.28 GHz, providing a unique combination of depth and breath. Crucially, the MIGHTEE fields have excellent multi-wavelength coverage, enabling a full census of galaxy properties. I will provide an overview of the first results from the MIGHTEE-continuum Early Science data, focussing on new insights into the properties of radio galaxies.
Getachew Mekonnen Mengistie, University of Namibia, Namibia 
Astronomy, and Its Impact in Namibia: Astro-tourism

Abstract: “Astronomy is one of the pillars of development in the Southern African region. In Namibia, the impact of astronomy in the development of socio-economy has greatly improved in the last couple of years. To further improve this, the University of Namibia in collaboration with the University of Oxford is trying to use astronomy as a tool for capacity building and improve the socio-economy of tour guides in particular and the country Namibia in general. Namibia is well known for its sustainable tourism: astronomy provides a great potential to expand and diversify the tourism market with less environmental impact. With the availability of some of the darkest skies in the world, astrotourism can be immensely important in improving the socio-economy of tour guides in particular and increase the tourists’ flow to the country in general and this, in turn, scale up incomes generated by astro-tourism. In this talk, We are going to give an overview on how the University of Namibia is working in collaboration with different stakeholders in improving astro-tourism. Moreover, we will highlight dark sky tourism as well as astro-tourism sites in Namibia.
Key words: Namibia; Astronomy; Tourism; Astro-trousim; Dark Skies; Tour guides”
Neo Namane, Rhodes University, RSA,
MIGHTEE, but radio quiet: An investigation of AGN emission

Abstract: Radio-quiet quasars (RQQs) are a subset of active galactic nuclei (AGN) and are thought to consist of about 90 percent of the optically-selected quasar population. To this end, this study is focused on determining the contribution of these objects to the radio luminosity distribution of our optical/near-infrared selected sample. These candidate radio quiet AGN are statistically analysed to determine what fraction of radio emission is due to accretion over star formation (SF). In order to further add insight to an ensuing debate that exists within literature, we analyse far-infrared data tied to our field. This is done to separate the radio emission associated with our sample of AGN through the use of a far-infrared radio correlation (FIRC), which has been derived using star forming galaxies within the same field.
Tawanda Chingozha, IAU OAD, RSA
Impact of Science on Development – Perspectives from Sutherland

Abstract: Astronomy has played an important role in shaping our understanding of the universe and our place in it, especially since our identity as the human race is in one way or another tied to the stars. Like other science disciplines, the impact of astronomy on development is not clear cut. In recent times, the role of astronomy in socio-economic development on the home base (Earth) and the difficulty in measuring this ‘role’ have been brought into the spotlight – leading to the establishment of the Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) of the International Astronomical Union (IAU). Put simply, the OAD’s mandate [guided by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)] is to work on translating astronomy into development related outcomes mainly via project funding and other activities. While measuring the development impact of science is fraught with many challenges, obtaining perspectives is less daunting but equally important. Hence a diverse team of OAD fellows visited Sutherland [a town in Northern Cape, South Africa that hosts the Southern Africa Large Telescope (SALT)] in June 2019 to seek some community perspectives and qualitatively assess the impact of the SALT telescope on local socio-economic development. This article discusses some problems in measuring the impact of science on development and presents some community and stakeholder perspectives from Sutherland.
Cláudio Paulo, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Mozambique
Statistical analysis of radio halo and relics sample in Galaxy Clusters

Abstract: The origin of diffuse emissions in Galaxy Cluster (GC) is a matter of debate up to date. Radio halos, mini-halos and relics which represent types of diffuse emissions in Galaxy Clusters (GCs) are being analyzed by several researchers but due to small numbers of detection, it is difficult to come up with applausive conclusions. I propose to perform statistical analysis by considering a new approach and explore the possibility of increasing the sample of GCs with detected diffuse emission using the next generation of astronomical facilities like the precursor to the Square Kilometre Array telescope (MeerKAT).
ScienceEducation, Development, and Outreach
Tolu Biressa, Jimma University, Ethiopia, Ethiopia
The rate of star formation in interacting molecular clouds with stellar activity

Abstract: “The physics of star formation that includes the processing agents and environmental conditions are fundamental issues in astrophysics. Observational data of nearby galaxies, over broad range of galactic environments and metallicities indicate that star formation occurs mainly in the molecular phase of the interstellar medium (ISM). This star forming environmental correlation is currently considerate to model variety of statistical techniques in estimating the relevant physical parameters. Moreover, recent progress in the field also shows new observational discoveries including the dark matter and dark energy correlation to the phenomena. Thus, there are complicated issues in understanding the large-scale star formation. Therefore, further development of models that incorporate the star formation scenario within clouds and the ensemble properties of star formation in a galaxy are important. In this paper, we consider the 3-component interaction model (Molecular cloud – Atomic gas – Active stellar evolution system) to develop analytical solutions for the rate of star formation. The theoretically results will be discussed in relation to observation.
Keywords: Star formation-molecular cloud-atomic gas-stellar evolution-star forming interaction model.
El Yajouri Meriem, National Outreach Coordinator, Morocco
The most successful astronomy outreach events in Morocco in 2019-2020


Abstract: “Morocco is experiencing a growing momentum in the field of astronomy. This dynamic was initiated more than thirty years ago by scientists and amateurs. Thus, our country is represented within the International Astronomical Union (IAU) by Cadi Ayyad University through a national committee (NCA) chaired by Prof. Benkhaldoun Zouhair, director of the Oukaimeden Observatory (OUCA). Similarly, Morocco has a National (National Outreach Coordinator; NOC) Committee to coordinate the dissemination of astronomy to the general public. This committee is the main interlocutor and national representative of the astronomical outreach designated within the framework of the IAU’s Office of Astronomy for Outreach (OAO). This committee has recently coordinated the operation of the nomenclature of exoplanets “”NameExoWorlds” which led to the selection and adoption of the names Isli and Tislit respectively for the star WASP-161 and its exoplanet WASP-161b, as well as the IAU “”Telescopes for All”” contest which rewarded a rural association among the 172 candidatures approved by the different NOCs of 34 countries.
In this talk, we will describe the recent awareness-raising events and initiatives taking place in Morocco, from global projects such as the IAU 100 Hours of Astronomy to local and individual activities for outreach, education, and development led by passionate and committed professionals and amateurs.
Innocent, Eya, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria
Magnitude of Neutron Star Crustal Fluid and Evolution Vela-like Glitches

Abstract: The spontaneous increase in pulsar spin frequency known as pulsar glitch is one of the major tools in probing neutron star interior. The most acceptable mechanism for explanation of pulsar glitch phenomenon (especially those of Vela pulsar) hinges on transfer of angular momentum housed in neutron star crustal fluid to the entire star. However, it is the glitch size and the inter-glitch time interval (or the frequency of glitch) that gave credence to angular momentum transfer mechanisms. Nonetheless, it is becoming obvious that the momentum housed in neutron star crustal fluid could not explain all the features of Vela-like glitches. This analysis points out those features and also showed that the observed glitch sizes could not be sustained by the magnitude of neutron star crustal fluid.
Somaya Saad, National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics (NRIAG), Egypt
Astronomy Development, Education, and outreach in Egypt: Challenges and Prospects

Abstract: “We present the current situation, scientific trends, and requirements for the advancement of Astronomy in Egypt.
We will shed light about the efforts of the expanding the scientific base and spreading the awareness in our society about astronomy techniques and their applications. Our strategy over many years on develop astronomy education as well as provide training facilities and resources will be presented, also the role of the International relations, agreements and partnerships in enhance and maximize the astronomy development in Egypt.
Willice  Obonyo
Non-thermal radio emission from massive protostars

Abstract: “Massive protostars drive out jets whose particles can interact with either the magnetic fields of the jet or ambient medium to emit non- thermal radiation. We report a search for non-thermal radio emission from a sample of 15 MYSOs to establish the prevalence of the emission in the objects. We used their spectrum across the L-, C- and Q-bands, along with spectral index maps, to characterise their emission. We find that about 50% of the sources show evidence for non-thermal emission with 40% showing clear non-thermal lobes, especially sources of higher bolometric luminosity. All the central cores of the sources were found to be thermal, driving out mass at a rate that lie in the range ∼ 3e−7 to 7e−6 solar masses per year. Given the presence of non-thermal lobes in some of the sources and the evidence of non-thermal emission from some spectral index maps, it seems that magnetic fields play a significant role in the jets of massive protostars. Also noted is that some of the sources show evidence of binarity and variability.
Johnson Urama, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria
The African Cultural Astronomy Project: The Hidden Treasure

Abstract: Neutron stars, generally, exhibit timing irregularities in the form of glitches and timing noise. To date, more than 600 glitches (large and small) have been reported in the conventional radio pulsars, binary pulsars, millisecond pulsars, Anomalous X-ray Pulsars (AXPs), and other manifestations of neutron stars. Observation of pulsar glitches remains a powerful tool for studying the interior of neutron stars. These glitches have continued to exhibit new features, thus making the understanding of the glitch processes and mechanisms quite intriguing and challenging. This paper discusses some of these features and their implications for the neutron star interior.
ScienceEducation, Development, and Outreach
Amidou Sorgho, CSIC-IAA, Spain
Angular momentum of isolated galaxies

Abstract: Since the early 1980s, studies have empirically investigated the relationship between the specific angular momenta and masses (j vs M) of galaxies to explain their observed evolutionary paths. A lot of progress was made over the years, with different techniques used to refine the original j-M relation of Fall (1983). Although current studies find a tight j-M relation, none is performed over a sample of a uniformly unbiased environment of galaxies. In this talk, we present the first study of the Fall relation over galaxies drawn from the AMIGA sample of exclusively isolated galaxies.
Claudio Paulo, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Mozambique
The constraint of astronomy research in Mozambique

Abstract: The origin of diffuse emissions in Galaxy Cluster (GC) is a matter of debate up to date. Radio halos, mini-halos and relics which represent types of diffuse emissions in Galaxy Clusters (GCs) are being analyzed by several researchers but due to small numbers of detection, it is difficult to come up with applausive conclusions. I propose to perform statistical analysis by considering a new approach and explore the possibility of increasing the sample of GCs with detected diffuse emission using the next generation of astronomical facilities like the precursor to the Square Kilometre Array telescope (MeerKAT).
Sourabh Paul, University of the Western Cape, RSA
HI intensity mapping with the MeerKAT interferometer: power spectrum estimates

Abstract: Intensity mapping (IM) with neutral hydrogen is a promising avenue to probe the large scale structure of the Universe. We demonstrate that the 64-dish MeerKAT interferometer, a precursor to the SKA-mid array, is capable of making a statistical detection of HI in the post-reionization Universe. With MIGHTEE (MeerKAT International GHz Tiered Extragalactic Exploration), one of MeerKAT’s existing large survey projects, we can achieve high sensitivity for estimating the HI power spectrum on quasi-linear scales, which will provide a useful complementarity to the single-dish IM. We present a purpose-built simulation pipeline that emulates the MIGHTEE observations and forecast the constraints that can be achieved on the HI power spectrum at z = 0.27 for k > 0.3 Mpc^{-1} using the foreground avoidance method. We present the power spectrum estimates with the current simulation on the COSMOS field that includes contributions from HI, noise and point source models constructed from the observed MIGHTEE data. The results from our visibility based pipeline are in good agreement to the already available MIGHTEE data.
Kirubel Menberu, Ethiopian Space Science Society, Ethiopia
Projects on expansion and development of amateur astronomy for youth in Ethiopia 

Abstract: The Ethiopian Space Science Society works on space science outreach and development. As part of this movement different projects are being carried out on capacity building in armature astronomy specifically for the youth. A glance of the projects currently running include The Ethiopian Sky  aims to broadcast a live streaming/ recorded broadcast of the night sky both on the internet and for local media (in case of stellar events) using telescopes and CCD cameras. It will also have capability of doing small level image processing and armature astrophotography. Ad Astra Book Club is an open platform where people of space science interest meet up and have a hot discussion over sci-fi and non fictional space science related books. This will empower the youth to develop reading skills and facilitate the knowledge transfer. This project is supported by American Center, Addis Ababa. Trainers training on Basic Astronomy and Telescope is a project where astronomy outreach coordinators and armature astronomers take a basic training by professional astronomers from Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute (ESSTI) on basics of astronomy, usage of telescopes and usage of astronomical software for stargazing. NASE (Network for Astronomy School Education)  is an international program that works on training high school teachers, university lecturers, and space science outreach coordinators teach astronomy using simple models and experiments. This project is supported by ESSTI.
Mazengo Daudi, The University of Dodoma, Tanzania
Detailed characterization of LINERs in the local universe

Abstract: We characterized physical properties of low-ionization nuclear emission-line regions (LINERs) and retired galaxies (RGs) in the nearby universe for redshift range 0 < z < 0.4 and two subranges z < 0.4 and 0.1 < z < 0.4. We tested the effectiveness of WHAN diagnostic diagram in separating LINERs and RGs. Photometric data, public spectroscopic data and morphological classification from SDSS-DR8, MPA-JHU SDSS-DR8 catalogue and Galaxy Zoo survey, respectively were used. Distribution of LINERs, RGs and AGN-LINERs in relation to luminosity, stellar mass, star formation rate (SFR), colour, and their location on the SFR-stellar mass and colour-stellar mass diagrams is studied. Based of Hubble’s classification and the colour-stellar mass diagrams we study the morphology and evolution of both populations. Results indicate that at higher redshift, AGN-LINERs have higher apparent g magnitude, SFRs and dominate on
and/above the main sequence (MS) of star formation compared to RGs. Similar stellar mass and luminosity distributions are observed at all redshift ranges for both populations. Results suggest a significant difference in terms of star formation of RGs and AGN-LINERs with redshift. The future focus is to develop AGN research with further work with the planned Kilimanjaro EHT telescope, astrotourism, education and translating astronomy in kiswahili.
Tahina Princy Ranaivoma nana, University of Manchester, UK
Developing Astronomy in Madagascar: Young Malagasy graduate students taking charge.

Abstract: Over the past few years, a number of astronomy groups and associations have been striving in popularizing Astronomy in Madagascar. In particular, astrophysics students which are members of the Malagasy Astronomy and Space Science, the IAU adhering organization of Madagascar, work actively in coordinating diverse outreach activities to promote astronomy and science in the country.  One of our major achievements was the success of the project entitled “Madagascar Astronomy Magazine” funded by the Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) and the Development in Africa with Radio Astronomy (DARA) project in 2018. This project targeted five high schools in a remote coastal region of Madagascar with the aim to inspire high school learners in taking interests in STEM-related careers. Besides, the astrophysics students recently devoted their spare time to co-organize the “IAU100 Drawing Contest” themed “Under One Sky” as part of the IAU centenary celebration in the country. The contest was opened to different categories of participants: from primary schools to Universities, from amateurs to professionals. Around 200 entries were received. Our community keeps growing and we make every effort to implement innovative projects by leveraging our academic skills. This is proven to enhance public awareness of Astronomy with the hope to reach every part of the country.



Sultan Hassan, Flatiron Institute, USA
Can galaxy evolution mimic Cosmic Reionization?

Abstract: “Lyman-$\alpha$ (Ly$\alpha$) emitting galaxies are powerful tools to probe the late stages of cosmic reionization. The observed sudden drop
in Ly$\alpha$ fraction at $z>6$ is often interpreted as a sign of reionization, since the IGM is more neutral and opaque, which reduces Ly$\alpha$ photon transmission. Crucially, this interpretation of the observations is only valid under the assumption that galaxies themselves experience a minimal evolution at these epochs. By
modelling Ly$\alpha$ radiative transfer effects in and around galaxies, we examine whether a change in the galactic properties can reproduce the observed drop in the Ly$\alpha$ fraction. We find that an increase in the galactic neutral hydrogen content or a reduction in
the outflow velocity toward higher redshift both lead to a lower Ly$\alpha$ escape fraction, and can thus mimic an increasing neutral fraction. We furthermore find, however, that this change in galactic properties leads to systematically different Lya spectra which can be
used to differentiate the two competing effects. Our results caution the use of Ly$\alpha$ observations to estimate IGM neutral fraction, without accounting for the potential change in the galactic properties, e.g., by mapping out the evolution of Ly$\alpha$ spectral characteristics.”
Tahina Princy Ranaivoma nana, University of Manchester, UK

Developing Astronomy in Madagascar: Young Malagasy graduate students taking charge.
Abstract: Over the past few years, a number of astronomy groups and associations have been striving in popularizing Astronomy in Madagascar. In particular, astrophysics students which are members of the Malagasy Astronomy and Space Science, the IAU adhering organization of Madagascar, work actively in coordinating diverse outreach activities to promote astronomy and science in the country.  One of our major achievements was the success of the project entitled “Madagascar Astronomy Magazine” funded by the Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) and the Development in Africa with Radio Astronomy (DARA) project in 2018. This project targeted five high schools in a remote coastal region of Madagascar with the aim to inspire high school learners in taking interests in STEM-related careers. Besides, the astrophysics students recently devoted their spare time to co-organize the “IAU100 Drawing Contest” themed “Under One Sky” as part of the IAU centenary celebration in the country. The contest was opened to different categories of participants: from primary schools to Universities, from amateurs to professionals. Around 200 entries were received. Our community keeps growing and we make every effort to implement innovative projects by leveraging our academic skills. This is proven to enhance public awareness of Astronomy with the hope to reach every part of the country.

Science Posters:

Asrate Gaulle Asrie (Dilla University)
An Alternative Method for Measuring the Accretion Rate in Active Galactic Nuclei

Abstract: “Accretion rate is one of the main properties of active galaxies, and its measurement plays a fundamental role in understanding the supermassive black hole (SMBH) growth, physics behind AGN, and the connection between active and normal galaxies. Up-to now, for measuring accretion rate in AGNs different methods can be used, but all of them are based on spectroscopic data, which are more costly than photometric data, contain smaller data sets, and very often have poorer statistics. In this paperwork, we analyzed the correlation between X-ray-to-optical (X/O) flux ratio and accretion rate including black hole mass in the active galactic nuclei (LINERs and Seyfert) from photometric data. We explored a large sample of local galaxies using data from the 3XMM-DR7 and SDSS-DR8 surveys. For avoiding the K-correction we did all analysis to z ≤0.2, and we studied the relation between X/O flux ratio and accretion rate for different classes of active galaxies with morphology. We found a mild correlation between the two if the whole sample of AGN is considered. However, LINERs and Sy2 galaxies show different properties, strong correlation, and slight anti-correlation, respectively. This could confirm that LINERs and Sy2 galaxies have different accretion rate and show different accretion disc properties. Also find a strong correlation between the X/O flux ratio and the mass of supermassive black hole in AGN, LINER, and Sy2. “

Betelehem Bilata (Debre Berhan University (DBU))
Multiwavelength morphological study of active galaxies in the BASS survey

Abstract: “Studying the morphology of a large sample of active galaxies at different wavelengths and comparing it with active galactic nuclei (AGN) properties, such as black hole mass and Eddington ratio, can help us in understanding better the connection between AGN and their host galaxies and the role of nuclear activity in galaxy formation and evolution. By using the BAT-SWIFT hard X-ray public data and by extracting those parameters measured for AGN and by using other public catalogues for parameters such as stellar mass, star formation rate (SFR), etc., we studied the multiwavelength morphological properties of host galaxies of ultra-hard X-ray detected AGN and their correlation with other AGN properties. We found that ultra hard X-ray detected AGN can be hosted by all morphological types, but in larger fractions (42%) they seem to be hosted by spirals in optical, to be quiet in radio, and to have compact morphologies in X-rays. When comparing morphologies with other galaxy properties, we found that ultra hard X-ray detected AGN follow previously obtained relations. On the SFR vs. stellar mass diagram, we found that although the majority of sources are located below the main sequence (MS) of star formation (SF), still non-negligible number of sources, with diverse morphologies, is located on and/or above the MS, suggesting that AGN feedback might have more complex influence on the SF in galaxies than simply quenching it, as it was suggested in some of previous studies.”
Dr. Getachew Mekonnen Mengistie
Listening the Sound of Stars: Asteroseismology

Abstract: “In this talk, we introduce a new and improved photometric mode identification formula for pulsating stars. We begin our calculations from the radiative transfer equations. By considering appropriate physical conditions and mathematical formulations, we derive a formula that describes the effect of pulsations in the light output of pulsating stars. For this formulation, we took into consideration the interaction of light with the different layers of the atmosphere of the star. The calculation we did is to show the dependence of the variation in the observed luminosity on the surface area, surface normal and variation in temperature which is caused by non-radial pulsations. By implementing the theories and principles introduced by Watson (1987, 1988), we investigated photometric mode identification and introduce an alternative way of deriving theoretical photometric mode identification. We also demonstrate the effect of pulsation in the light output of a pulsating star. Hence, the calculation we did show the dependence of the variation in the observed luminosity on the surface area, surface normal and variation in temperature caused by nonradial pulsation.

Key words: Mode identification; Photometry; Pulsating Stars; Radial and Nonradial Pulsation; Radiative transfer equations; Flux perturbations”
Dugasa Belay Zeleke (Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute)
Effects of the dynamo magnetic fields on observational properties of Accreting Millisecond X-ray Pulsars

Abstract: “In this paper, we have investigated the accreting millisecond X-ray pulsars, which are rapidly rotating neutron stars in low-mass X-ray binaries. These systems show coherent X-ray pulsations that arise when the accretion flow is magnetically channeled to the stellar surface. Here, we have developed the fundamental equations for an accretion disc around accreting millisecond X-ray pulsars in the presence of a dynamo generated magnetic fields in the inner part of the disc and we have also formulated the numerical method for the structure equations in the inner region of the disc and the highest accretion rate is enough to make the inner region of the disc which is overpowered by radiation pressure and electron scattering. Finally, we have examined our results with the effects of dynamo magnetic fields on accreting millisecond X-ray pulsars.”
Lerothodi Leeuw (University of the Western Cape)
Constraining Proto-clusters with MeerKAT

Abstract: We will describe results of our observational analysis to constrain submm-selected proto-clusters with data from MeerKAT.
Margaret Ikape (University of Toronto)
Mitigating the optical depth degeneracy using the kinematic Sunyaev-Zel’dovich effect with CMB-S4

Abstract: The Epoch of Reionization (EoR) is one of the major phase transitions in the universe, and is the focus of several upcoming CMB experiments that will dramatically improve constraints on the cosmological parameters due to the improved sensitivities to small scale fluctuations. In this work, we explore the early time kinetic Sunyaev Zel’dovich (kSZ) effect as a probe of the EoR and we parametrize the reionization epoch with three main parameters including the mass of ionizing sources, the mean free path of photons and the ionization efficiency. We discuss the dependence of the kSZ power spectrum on the reionization model parameters, as well as on empirical parameters of reionization, namely the Thomson scattering optical depth to the CMB, τ, and the duration of reionization, ∆z. We use both the two point function and the reconstructed four point function to break existing degeneracy between τ and As, the primordial amplitude of scalar fluctuations leading to forecast constraints on tau σ(τ) = 0.003 and σ(∆z) = 0.14.
Mejri Ziad (Tunisian Outreach (IAU))
Solar System

Abstract: Some of our amazing posters about solar system created by a group of primary students
Nazir Ahmed Makda (SAAO)
Ultra-Diffuse Galaxy Candidates in Stripe 82 Clusters

Abstract: Ultra-diffuse Galaxies (UDGs) are low surface brightness galaxies with a very low stellar mass component, however, their sizes are comparable to Milky Way-sized galaxies. Van Dokkum et al. (2015) discovered 47 of these extremely low surface brightness galaxies in the Coma cluster and ~1000 UDGs were found in Coma using deeper data later that year. UDGs are found to be abundant in the cluster environment, although they are expected to be cannibalized by the cluster’s strong tidal fields, which suggests that they contain significant amounts of dark matter. Here, I present the results of my Master thesis, searching for low surface brightness galaxies from typical dwarf galaxies to UDGs, in 16 low redshift (z<0.15) clusters in the Stripe 82 region. A total of 941 low surface brightness galaxies are identified, with 165 classified as UDGs following the van Dokkum et al. (2015) criteria. The main result of my thesis shows that the number of faint galaxies in clusters follows a power-law with respect to the cluster halo mass, with an index of 1.05±0.45, showing that the number of UDG candidates increases as the cluster halo mass increases.
Seblu Humne Negu (Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute, Entoto Observatory and Reserach Center)
Mass-luminosity relation of the low-mass Algol-type eclipsing binaries

Abstract: “We study the evolution of Algol-type eclipsing binaries consisting of a subgiant donor and a main sequence accretor star over a broad range of orbital parameter space. We examined the numerical solutions for the stability of mass transfer in the evolution of these systems with different values of donor and accretor masses by applying the dynamical evolution equations of orbit and mass-luminosity relations using the binary stellar evolution code. Possible explanations for these features are proposed. We have concluded that the mass-luminosity relation based on empirical data of eclipsing binary components cannot be used to derive the stellar initial mass function. The former process occurs when the donor stars fill its Roche lobe overflow while the latter may be in the former of gravitational radiation or magnetic braking. Additionally, we determined that our analysis yields an increase in the
predicted number of stable systems compared to that in previous studies.”
Abdelaziz Eid (National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics (NRIAG))
An astrometric and photometric study of the young open cluster NGC 2168 and its possible member, the eclipsing binary [NBN2015]77

Abstract: We present an astrometric and photometric study of the young open star cluster NGC 2168 and its proposed member [NBN2015]77.NGC 2168was investigated by combining  data from  both the Gaia-ESO DR2 and the 2MASS databases. The photometric analysis and light curve modeling of the W UMa star [NBN2015] 77 in V and R bands was performed using the Wilson-Devinney (W-D) program. The cluster’s main parameters:its distance, color excess, and age  are d = 862.349 +- 67.497pc,  , and 126 Myr respectively.These results show that the system [NBN2015] 77 is an W UMA eclipsing binary of A-subtype, with a low   mass ratio of 0.242, and two components of spectral types K0 and K1.  The physical parameters of both components of the binary [NBN2015] 77  have been estimated. The masses and radii are , , , .The evolutionary status of the system components has been investigated and shows that the primary component is slightly evolved towards the Terminal Age Main Sequence while the secondary is an evolved component.  Using two independent  means we discussed the membership of [NBN2015] 77 and  found that [NBN2015] 77 is a background field star  and not  a member to the  NGC 2168 open cluster .

Education, Development and Outreach Posters

Priya Hasan (Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad, India)
Clear Skies: An IUA-OAD Project

Abstract: “Authors: Priya Shah & S N Hasan
Clear Skies is an IAU-OAD sponsored project (since January 2019) which aims to encourage rational thinking and inculcate scientific temper in children while blind faith and superstition are rampant in our societies. In this project, we use astronomy as a tool to demystify science and debunk myths in the medium of a vernacular language, Urdu, so that non-English speaking underpriveleged children can be included. We shall present the tools and methods we have been using to explain the physics of satellites, planets and stars, spectra of stars, sundials, telescopes, etc and the lessons we have learnt in the process. We shall discuss our website with a repository of our activities and tools (hands-on, models, role-play, field trips, etc) that can be used and contributed to and thus build a network of groups interested in similar activities. We shall also discuss the lessons and caveats we have learned in the process of implementing this project
[Quoted text hidden]”
Elimboto Yohana (Dar Es Salaam University College of Education (www.duce.ac.tz) )
Digital and Web-based Technologies for Accelerated STEM Teaching, Learning, and Research

Abstract: It has been shown that both teaching/learning and research can be greatly enhanced with the use of digital technologies. Appropriate digital tools are very helpful, for example in presenting, analyzing, and visualizing data, and in simulating, exploring, and animating various science and mathematical models in order to make a sense of them. Although many tools can be deployed locally, TSSFL Open Discussion Forums (TSSFL ODF — https://www.tssfl.com) has infrastructure that is integrated with software and web-based technologies (see https://bit.ly/367AQIK and https://bit.ly/2LZqLXh) which can be deployed to provide inspiring and unprecedented cost-effective technology-assisted solutions in STEM education and research.
Ceren Ulusoy (BIUST)
Highlights of the recent developments of Astronomy in Botswana

Abstract: In this poster, we present highlights of the recent developments of Astronomy in Botswana. Today, African countries have made very significant progress in Astronomy and Space Sciences with involvement in a variety of the most advanced survey and monitoring projects as well as the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) project that is expected to become operational in near future. Botswana is one of the eight partner countries around the African continent in the SKA project. Botswana’s role in the build-up to SKA is incredibly important for being the precursor (African Very long Baseline Interferometry Network-AVN) to this project. Botswana has been tasked to lead the implementation of the part of the SKA project to build human capacity and international network by providing local and regional training which would be the main goal for successful completion of the mission. We also present plans in the next five-year to be carried out in Botswana that will enable research activities to be recognized by the leading authorities in Astronomy.
Elizabeth  Naluminsa  (Kyambogo University)
Astronomy Outreach in Uganda 

Abstract: In this poster I will present highlights of outreach that I have done in Uganda with three main objectives: 1) To enable students to visualise the applicability of the scientific concepts they are taught in class. 2) To inspire the imagination of students in rural schools to think beyond the limitations of their poverty-stricken backgrounds and 3) To inspire students into considering careers in the STEM fields. The outreach activities involve lecturers on basic topics in Astrophysics (such as motion of planets, basics of star formation etc), discussions led by questions from the students (these tend to range from optics to space engineering), and well as star gazing (weather permitting). The students are able to engage with each other and the volunteers on topics that are outside the national school curriculum and yet pertinent to their development as scientists or curious learners of their environments.
Ashraf Tadross (National research institute of astronomy and geophysics)
My experience in Astronomy Outreach in Egypt

Abstract: My relationship with astronomy outreach in society began since my appointment at the institute in 1990, when I wrote my first book under the name “To the Moon on the Wings of Apollo” in 1992, then I wrote several books, which have reached 6 so far … Also, I created my page on Facebook as the first page in Egypt presented by an academic person in explaining the concepts of astronomy and space sciences, and the interpretation of astronomical phenomena for society and the press.. I started this page in 2012, when I headed the astronomy department at the institute for about 7 and a half years, and this page continues until now and it has lots of followers …
Eugene Tetteh-Owusu Okwei (University of Leeds)
Understanding the impact of large-scale Radio Astronomy projects on student engagement with physics in Ghana

Abstract: In recent years there have been scientific developments nationally in Ghana in radio astronomy. One such project (DARA) trained teachers in radio astronomy. Many of these teachers returned to the classroom. The purpose of the study is to specifically understand the impact of large scale radio astronomy projects on students’ engagement with Physics in Ghana. In this study, mixed methods comparative study research design was used. The sample for the study was DARA-trained teachers and their students and Non-DARA-trained teachers and their students. The sample size for the study was 1200 students and 28 teachers. The sampling technique used for the study was purposive. Two main instruments was used in the study: questionnaire and interview. Both quantitative and qualitative methods will be used in analysing data. The interview data collected so far was analysed qualitatively by transcribing, coding and categorizing into themes and the questionnaire data will be analysed quantitatively through the help of Statistical Package for Social Sciences-SPSS based on the research questions. The preliminary results revealed that there is a difference between DARA teachers and Non-DARA teachers on attitudes towards the teaching and learning of Physics, perceptions on the relevance of studying Physics and career aspirations/knowledge of career routes in Physics.
Tumo Fortunate Kedumele (Botswana International University of Science and Technology and Women in STEM (WiS))
Outreach Project: Astronomy for Change in Botswana through Women in STEM (WiS)

Abstract: This poster is a presentation of the activities that Women in STEM (WiS) has undertaken in the area of Space Science, Technology and Astronomy outreach, awareness and development within Botswana. The Botswana government and nation has embarked on Space Science and Technology ground breaking agenda with global and regional projects such as SKA, AVN and DARA. It has since done this through human capacity building and training of students, young professionals and the nation at large according to the national Space Science and Technology Strategy. Women in STEM (WiS) is thus a product of this national endeavor. This poster presentation focuses particularly on Astronomy and Astrophysics outreach and collaborations with other Space sector and STEM organizations.