Islands of astronomy



Title Islands of astronomy
Author(s) Godfrey Baldacchino, Alexander Gatt
Journal Island Studies Journal
Date 2009
Volume 4
Issue 1
Start page 85
End page 98
Abstract 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 article is written as a contribution to the
International Year of Astronomy (2009).

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