Welcome to the WAS website

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

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) and WAS – UPDATE

Because of the current Covid-19 alert level the next WAS monthly meeting on the 2nd of September at 7:30pm will be streamed using Zoom. There will be no meeting at Space Place. Details of the Zoom meeting are here and on out Facebook page together with information on how to participate. Please fill in the form on the web page and the Zoom meeting details will be emailed to you.

Note: Our meetings are open to both members and non-members, all are welcome.

In view of the current COVID-19 level 2 situation all of our events are currently cancelled.

  • Public events, such as the events we run on the Wellington waterfront and school events are cancelled while we are at COVID alert level 2. They will resume at alert level 1. We have a number of events booked and are looking for volunteers to help when we get back to COVID alert level 1. Please see the call for volunteers section below.
  • The Beatrice Hill Tinsley public lecture tour is postponed.  We hope to be able to run this later in the year depending on overseas travel restrictions and the availability of speakers.
  • The RASNZ centennial conference originally scheduled for May was postponed until the weekend (23-25 October 2020). However RASNZ have now decided the conference will be cancelled. More information is on the RASNZ website.
  • We will continue to produce and distribute our monthly news letter.

We have scheduled the following events but these will only go ahead if we are back at Level 1.

  • WAS Astrophotography Group / Dark Sky Observing: Saturday 12 September, 7 pm onwards, Star Field – John Whitby’s dark sky site.
  • International Observe the Moon Night 2020: Saturday 26 September, 7 pm onwards, at the Wellington waterfront by the seaward entrance to the Lagoon

Further details of these possible events are in the newsletter and as things change we will update this web page and our Facebook page with any news or updates.  If you have any questions, suggestions, or for further information please email [email protected]

2020 – 2021 Subscriptions

As the new WAS Financial Year is upon us (from 1st September), membership renewals are due for the year. Renewal of your subscription will enable you to maintain your membership till 31 August 2021. We want to thank all those that have already renewed their memberships.

To make astronomy fun and accessible for all, WAS would like to continue providing free events for everyone in and around Wellington, but we are only able to do this with your support. The Society has a number of fixed costs, including payment of insurance, affiliation to the Royal Astronomical Society of NZ, post-office box charges, venue fees and costs incurred when an international speaker is hosted.

There are also additional costs for telescopes to ensure members and the wider community have access to the universe through well-functioning equipment. We are also looking to fund a solar telescope as part of our outreach programme. Support from members through joining WAS and renewing their memberships allows us to promote astronomy through education and outreach for free. We appreciate your continued support of our Society’s activities by renewing your membership.

Renewal forms can be found here on the website, but a summary follows:
Adult/Waged: $50.00
Student/Unwaged/Associate: $30.00
Family: $70.00

Payment methods:

  • Direct Deposit or Internet Banking – use Account No: 03-0502-0508656-00, please include reference so we know who is making the payment
  • Cheque – make out to Wellington Astronomical Society Inc, and mail to PO Box 3181, Wellington 6140
  • Cash – please bring exact amount to meeting.

Please send an email to [email protected] informing us of your membership renewal and payment.

Call for Volunteers

With the COVID-19 lock 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]

At home and bored? We have a page of things for adults and kids of things to do and read. If you have a question about space or astronomy as a result you can use the “contact us” web page to ask questions. We hope you all stay safe and well.  Hopefully normal activity will resume before too long.

If you have any suggestions for things you would like to see on our website then please email the webmaster or fill out the “Contact Us” form.

Our Facebook page is at this link.