April Meeting

This month meeting will be help at the usual place and time.  That is Wednesday 4th of April at Space Place/ Carter Observatory.

This month’s meeting will contain the following:
1. Night sky in April
2. Astronomy News
3. Main talk at 8:00pm

Encouraging the Next Generation of Astronomers – Lee Mauger

Abstract

Lee emigrated from Europe to New Zealand 11 years ago, and immediately felt lucky to have stunningly clear views of the night sky on his doorstep. Going from a light polluted location to a much darker location made him realise the march of light pollution was heading our way, and our luck may eventually run out. Having two small children, Lee was particularly concerned that by the time they grew up they may not be able to see the night sky as we do, and the impact that may have in inspiring their wonder of the world and sparking their interest in science.

Through his local schools Lee quickly found other parents, teachers, astronomers, engineers (and scientists) had the same concerns, and together they formed a not for profit charity called the ‘Space & Science Festival’ which runs events each year to inspire the next generation in all things STEM. May 2018 will be the 5th anniversary of the festival. The festival was designed to run near when the clocks change, allowing kids to sneak in an extra hour of darkness for astronomy, and officially be allowed to ‘stay up late’ and do science.

Recognising this is only part of the story, Lee has now also helped form the Martinborough Dark Sky Society. This is aiming to create a Gold Standard, International Dark Sky Reserve within a short drive of Wellington. This, we hope will ensure that future generations will always have a place to go to explore the night sky, be inspired to think about our place in the world, and contemplate how the universe works.