Location Namibia
3. Namibia is located directly at the Tropic of Capricorn. Therefore many constellations and other astronomical objects are right at the zenith, so they are easy to observe. Short twilight allows long observation periods.

4. The countries topographical characteristics: Main parts of Namibia are on the African plateau that by average rises to 1500m above sea level. Some peaks in the mountain range at the border of the Namib even reach heights of far more than 2000m.

With its location on a plateau in an elevation of 1000m on an average and only 3.5 parallels from the Tropic of Capricorn, the Vogelstrausskluft offers perfect conditions for stargazing. Depending on the site a panoramic view of up to 360° without any hills or trees is possible here. The farm area is shielded by the mountain range close to the Konkiep River - which however is only visible in the far distance - and sits close to the dry desert of the Namib in a part of Namibia, where rain even in summer is rare.
During the last couple of years among astronomers Namibia more and more came into the centre of interest. Aside from smaller observatories in the meantime also bigger facilities are built here, like the H.E.S.S. Array of the Max-Plank Institute of Heidelberg. What makes Namibia so special for this purpose? There are numerous reasons why Namibia should be chosen as an observation point:

1. The country is only sparsely populated. Only 1.7 million people live in an area of 824 000 km2 (which is about three times the size of Germany). Therefore light-pollution is very low to not existing and also air-pollution that would blur the sight can be neglected. Stars down to a size of 7 can be watched with the naked eye.

2. The humidity is very low. The cold Benguela current alongside the coast of South-West Africa and the dry deserts of the Namib and the Kalahari let only little humidity reach the inner territories. During the months of May to August, in winter, no rain at all is falling and rarely one cloud is covering the sky. Outside of Namibia these special conditions only can be found in some parts of the South-American Andes, which however are far more difficult to access.

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