‘Islands of astronomy’ by Prof. G. Baldacchino & Dr. A. Gatt

Wednesday, 4 June 2014, at 6:30 p.m. at Stella Maris College, Gżira. Access to the lecture room is through Emmanuel Drive via E. Giordano Street and parking within the College grounds.

A global review of islands and their connections with astronomy throughout history up to the contemporary times suggests eight compelling, distinct yet interlocking reasons why islands have been and remain so important to astronomy and astronomers. Islands constitute favourable locations for various types of astronomy-related activities: from tracking satellites and monitoring significant celestial events, to providing exceptional locations to jurisdictions with mandated dark and unpolluted skies. They appeal for their favourable longitude and (especially southern) latitude, as well as for their disposition towards the conditions that the scientific community may expect in an ideal world: relatively clear viewing conditions from a secure, self-contained platform that is, however, endowed with connectivity. This presentation is based on a published article, written as a contribution to the International Year of Astronomy (2009).