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ISSUE 12 - May 2012

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Astronomy Week in Madeira, Portugal (pages 24 - 27)
P. Augusto, J. L. Sobrinho

Key Words
Public Outreach, Informal Education, Exhibitions, Non-traditional Events


The outreach programme Semanas da Astronomia (Astronomy Weeks) is held in late spring or summer on the island of Madeira, Portugal. This programme has been attracting enough interest to be mentioned in the regional press/TV/radio every year and is now, without doubt, the astronomical highlight of the year on Madeira. We believe that this programme is a good case study for showing how to attract the general public to astronomy in a small (population 250 000, area 900 km2) and fairly isolated place such as Madeira. Our Astronomy Weeks have been different each year and have so far included exhibitions, courses, talks, a forum, documentaries, observing sessions (some with blackouts), music and an astro party. These efforts may contribute towards putting Madeira on the map with respect to observational astronomy, and have also contributed to the planned installation of two observatories in the island.