This past year, Mializo Razanakoto and the Haikintana Astronomy club in Madagascar celebrated their third year of Asteroid Day by organizing two educational conferences and a stargazing event.
The festivities kicked off with a conference on asteroids organized by Professor Charles Ratsifaritana at the Ecole Normale Supérieur d’Antananarivo. The event provided students with information on the characteristics of asteroids, what resources can be found on asteroids, and what dangers they present. The Astronomy club used this opportunity to encourage more students to take greater interest in science, focusing on engaging more female students. They reported many new members have since joined.
The second conference took place at the Alliance Française d’Andavamamba in Antananarivo. This event was designed for the public and emphasized the impact of fallen asteroids and how to prevent them.
Finally, they closed with a stargazing event open to students and the general public. Attendees were especially thrilled to look through a brand new telescope, which the club had won in a contest hosted by International Astronomical Union (IAU) earlier that year. Regional coordinator Mializo Razanakoto commented, “The stargazing [event] is always unique when we see how people are amazed by the universe around them. And that is why we are proud of what we are doing and we will continue to engage people in that way.”