Welcome to the WAS website

Wellington Astronomical Society is an incorporated society and registered charity for promoting astronomy in and around the Wellington region.


Upcoming Events

April is Global Astronomy Month

We have a number of events this month as part of Global Astronomy Month.

April Astrophotography / Dark Sky Observing

When: Saturday 10th of April from 7:00pm. Saturday 17th April from 7:00pm.
Where: Star Field, Wairarapa.

UPDATE: Weather forecast for Star Field this Saturday looks like it might be OK. So we will try then. Please let us know if you are interested in coming with the revised date.

Weekend of the 10th was overcast so this event has been rescheduled. We have tentatively scheduled another Dark Sky observing event for next month on the 8th of May. More details closer to this date.

The evening will be a dark sky, with the Milky Way standing out and no Moon. There will be a tour of the Night Sky for beginners with a pointer before we get on the telescopes. There is also a lot of expertise available for anyone wanting to photograph the Night Sky. (more…)

Astronomy Night,

When: Wednesday 14th of April 6:30pm.
Where: Lower Hutt War Memorial Library.

One Dark-Sky, preserving the heritage! – Adela Devarajan

See https://www.facebook.com/events/443205700089253 or this link for further details.

Global Star Party – Stars for All

When: Saturday 17th of April from 6:00pm. Moved to Sunday 18th April, same place same time.
Where: Wellington Waterfront.

UPDATE: Weather forecast looks much better for Sunday so we have moved this event.

The Global Star Party is the time to come out under the stars, bridge gaps across the seas, and join your brother and sister skywatchers in proving that the world is “One People, One Sky.” Boundaries vanish when the world looks skyward.

Although for most of the world this will be a virtual event, we will be able to celebrate with telescope views of the Moon and the Night Sky.

For further details see here and here.

SunDay

When: Saturday 24th of April from 10:30am to 2:00pm.
Where: Wellington Waterfront.

A daytime celestial event! Go out and view the Sun (with appropriate eye protection) and enjoy our closest star!
We will have specialised solar telescopes to look at the Sun.

For further details see here and here.

May Monthly Meeting

When: Wednesday 5th May at 7:30 pm
Where: At the usual venue Space Place / Carter Observatory. Will also be accessible via Zoom.

Further details of the event will be here and on our Facebook page closer to the date.

Note our meeting are open to everyone. You don’t need to be a member to attend.


Location for Global Star Party and Sun Day

Northern Star Party

When: April 9th to 11th 2021
Where: Waharau Regional Park

The Auckland Astronomical Society’s Northern Star Party (Dark Sky Weekend) will be at Waharau Regional Park. April 9th to 11th 2021. It is also open to non-members to attend. It’s a great fun weekend.

The Auckland Astronomical Society’s Waharau Dark Sky Weekend (2021 Northern Star Party – Dark Sky Weekend) is held at Waharau Regional Park 1748 East Coast Rd, Orere Point, Whakatiwai 2473 (about 1 hour’s drive from central Auckland), starting on Friday 9th April at 5pm and ending Sunday 11th November at 11am.

It will be a weekend of practical astronomy and dark sky observing. It is great opportunity to spend a weekend viewing the sky from a dark site on Moonless nights through a range of different telescopes. Bring your telescope or binoculars.

See the Auckland Astronomical Society’s web site for more details.


IAU Astrophotography contest

Entries close April 15th.

Are you an astrophotographer – and keen on supporting astronomy education? Then this contest is for you: The IAU’s Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE) is running an astrophotography contest until April 15 2021. Besides receiving cash prizes, the winning images will be made available as Open Educational Resources for teachers and learners world-wide.

Astronomy education is a powerful tool to teach students about the place of our planet, and ourselves, in the universe – and a gateway science to the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, mathematics). One of the OAE’s goals is to provide astronomy educators worldwide with a basic collection of high quality educational resources. While many useful images are already available for public use, we have identified a number of astronomy-related themes where we think educators could use support.

Participants can submit images in the following categories: star trails, meteor showers, comets, total lunar eclipses, light pollution, aurorae (still images and time-lapses), wide star fields, Sun/Moon haloes, and time-lapses of Galilean moons orbiting around Jupiter. Submissions will be evaluated by an international panel of astrophotographers and astronomy educators. Apart from aesthetic and technical criteria, the jury will carefully consider the educational value of each entry in the context of primary and secondary school teaching.

There will be three winning entries for each category, which will be awarded with cash prizes of 750, 500 and 250 Euros for the first, second, and third prizes, respectively. All winning entries are published in the OAE’s astronomy education resources collection under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) 4.0 International License (note that the authors will still retain the copyright to their images). See https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Before submitting your entries, please read carefully the competition rules, which you can find at  https://www.haus-der-astronomie.de/3984845/oae_astrophotography_contest_rules.pdf

You can submit your entries at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfR9Wnm6li5dveq5Xq1VZ0pqf_nAUs60iAdNfp6c491hSEdBQ/viewform

For any queries regarding the competition, please contact [email protected].


Call for Volunteers

With the COVID-19 alert in phase 1, WAS resume our astronomy outreach activities. We have a number of these events already scheduled over the next month or so and we are expecting more requests to come in. We have a team of volunteers who help with these events but because these events are very popular we are receiving more requests than usual and our volunteers are being stretched. In particularly we are receiving many requests from schools around Matariki.

These outreach events are very popular and attract lots of appreciative comments and oooooohs and aaaaaahs. Occasionally the appreciation even extends to a cup of tea and a biscuit. For a typical event we take 2 or 3 telescopes and let people look at the moon, planets etc. Volunteers require no particular astronomy knowledge or experience with using telescopes. In fact if you wish to learn how to use a telescope this would be an ideal opportunity as you will be working alongside experienced and knowledgeable people. In addition full training of 2 to 10 minutes may be provided before we let the hordes loose. The only equipment you will need to bring is warm jacket and, recommended but optional, a thick pair of socks.

If you can help our team of volunteers at one or more of these events please let us know by emailing [email protected] or [email protected].


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