Astronomy Section:

James Scott’s lecture on “How on Earth do we know what Mars is made of” is now being held at the Boathouse.

James Scott’s lecture on “How on Earth do we know what Mars is made of” is now being held at the Boathouse, 326 Wakefield Quay.
When: Thursday February 18th, 7.00 – 8.30 pm.
Gold coin donation for non-members.
Mars is the 4th planet from the Sun, and there are three missions about to reach the planet. What are these missions hoping to find? What do we already know about Mars? Could there be life on the planet? Did you know that there are Martian rocks on Earth? I will talk on these topics, as well as highlight some similarities and differences of Mars with Earth. I will also bring some Martian rocks for show and tell.
Associate Professor James Scott teaches geology at the University of Otago and he is the current president of the Geoscience Society.


Wai-iti Dark Sky Park

Congratulations to Ralph Bradley and the  ‘Top of the South Dark Sky’ committee and its online identity ‘Dark Skies Tasman’ for their five years of hard work and their success in getting the Wai-iti Recreation Reserve and Tunnicliff Forest designated New Zealand’s first ‘Dark Sky Park’.

The park covers 135 hectares of Tasman District Council (TDC) land, located 4km south of Wakefield, and accompanies existing International Dark Sky Association (IDA)-recognised Dark Sky Reserves and Sanctuaries in Aoraki-Mackenzie, Stewart Island/Rakiura and Aotea/Great Barrier.

To celebrate the Dark Sky Park’s establishment, free “star parties” will be held on July 11 and 12 from 6.30pm at the Wai-iti Recreation Reserve, weather permitting. Please register for the star party events on the Dark Skies Tasman website.

Observatory viewing nights and next talk

These have resumed, and are held on each clear Friday evening until the end of September, 7.30pm to 9.30pm, Cawthron Atkinson Observatory, Clifton Terrace School, Atawhai, Nelson. Observe various objects through our C14 telescope, and some of our other, portable, telescopes. For the rest of the year the planets Jupiter and Saturn will be in the evening sky for viewing. Charges are (cash only) $5 per person, $15 families. Astronomy Section members free admission. If further information is needed please contact Hamish Barker, Astronomy Section Convenor, on 0226760897.