The IYA 2009 Malta committee is organising activities and initiatives to popularise astronomy with the public and especially with children. It is hoped that children will become interested in science and follow a scientific career.
The committee will also organise activities of interets to astronomers and will also forge links with astronomers overseas.
1. 24 hours of astronomy synchronized worldwide (to be announced by IYA international committee).
2. IAU/ UNESCO Astronomy and World Heritage. To identify astronomy related heritage sites in the Maltese islands so that these can be thoroughly researched, made known and presented in a special booklet. Eg Mnajdra/ Hagar Qim temples, William Lassell observatories, observatory of the Knights of St. John, streets named after astronomers, Tal-Virtu solar observatory, etc.
Malta initiative with international interest
3. Co-ordination of imaging of the moon from various countries of the world to form a composite image of the moon.
Malta initiatives of local interest
4. The human side of astronomy. Personal lives of Maltese astronomers, their families, friends etc. to be made public. These will be collected on the website and in a special booklet.
5. The universe from the Earth. A travelling exhibition of large astronomical images, models, dioramas etc. The exhibition will also be combined with presentations and observing sessions using small telescopes nearby, so that the location needs to take this into account. Each month the exhibition will be held in a different locality, spanning from January to December 2009.
Among the presentations will be those featuring Galileo’s life, Galileo’s observations, history of the telescope, Maltese astronomical connections, the Apollo moon landing etc.
6. The contribution to astronomy by small islands. Paper to be written by Godfrey Baldacchino and Alex Gatt.
7. To bring a notable foreign astronomer to present a talk in Malta during 2009.
8. Scale diorama of the Apollo 11 lunar landing site.
9. Notable astronomers or people involved in related fields who visited the Maltese islands in the distant or recent past. Details to be posted on the website and a booklet will be compiled.
Examples are: William Lassell, Guy Consolmagno, Patrick Moore, Heather Cooper, Apollo 13 astronauts, Valentina Tereschkova, Simon White, Guinevere Kaufmann, Giuzeppe Piazzi, Struve, etc.
10. The world at night. Submission of images of the sky against a historic site in the Maltese islands.
11. Participation of children involving schools with drawings, paintings, collages, models etc related to astronomy, space and IYA 2009. There will also be exhibitions and talks at schools. An effort will also be made to involve parents and their children, to improve ‘bonding’.
12. Collaboration with other societies to give their events an astronomical flavour.
13. Films – screening of astronomy and space related films at a cinema.
14. Planting of commemorative trees.
15. IYA 2009 commemorative stamp set in collaboration with Maltapost.
16. Special issue of the Astronomical Society of Malta calendar 2009 featuring astronomy features in the Maltese islands.