By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK “While we have some geological reasons to believe that our planet Earth is special and that this specialization has led to the development of advanced forms of intelligent life, our development can by no means be seen in isolation.” This is the view of the Minister of Mines and Energy, Erkki Nghimtina, who last Monday officially opened an educational exhibition at the Namibia National Art Gallery in the capital. The display, titled Namibia’s Night Sky: Our Window on the Galaxy, is currently running and should be of great educational value to Namibian learners. “Our Earth is part of a solar system, it is part of a galaxy and also part of the universe. It developed together with the sun and with other planets. The formation of new stars as well as the demise of old ones is taking place around us all the time. All these happenings have a bearing on the past, as well as the future of our home planet and are therefore well worth studying,” Minister Nghimtina pedagogically lectured the audience. He elaborated on why all Namibians should be interested in the planet system. “Namibia is home to the largest single meteorite ever found on Earth, the Hoba meteorite. Furthermore, this exhibition displays many photographs taken by telescopes of features of the country’s night sky that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Namibia is one of the best spots on the surface of the earth from which to view our galaxy. The country is not heavily illuminated at night and the skies are seldom cloudy, an excellent place from which astronomers and space scientists can view the universe around us,” he informed some of the learners who attended the official opening of the exhibition. “Who knows, if Namibian learners are inspired to study space science, perhaps one of them will one day be the first person to walk on Mars. I therefore would like to encourage as many learners as possible to visit this exhibition,” Erkki said, encouraging Namibians to submit to the organizers traditional stories linked to the moon and the stars in the local culture and languages. He also lauded the Museums Association of Namibia for putting together the exhibition and planning to take it to all the regions of the country.
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