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Affiliated Societies are welcome to reproduce any item in this email newsletter or on the RASNZ website http://www.rasnz.org.nz/ in their own newsletters provided an acknowledgement of the source is also included.

Contents

1. Neil Armstrong
2. AAS Astrophotography Competition 2012 - closes Oct. 1
3. AAS Burbidge Dinner - October 27
4. The Planets in October
5. RASNZ Conferences 2013 and 2015
6. Whakatane Ast Soc Community Award
7. Tourism Awards for Earth & Sky
8. John Hearnshaw Visits North Korea
9. Funding Cuts in the U.S., The Netherlands and the U.K.
10. Canadian House Exchange Sought
11. How to Join the RASNZ
12. Gifford-Eiby Lecture Fund
13. Kingdon-Tomlinson Fund
14. Here and There

1. Neil Armstrong

Neil Alden Armstrong, moon-walker, died on August 25th, aged 82.

Astronaughts do not like to be called heroes. They point out that it takes hundreds of thousands of backroom engineers, mathematicians and technicians to make space flight possible. They are right, too: at the height of its pomp, in 1966, NASA was spending 4.4% of the American government´s budget, providing jobs for 400,000 people. It was those workers Neil Armstrong was thinking of when, as commander of Apollo 11, the mission that landed men on the moon on July 20th 1969, he emerged from the lunar module to talk of small steps for man and giant leaps for mankind.

The achievement of his crew, relayed live on television, held the world spellbound. On their return to Earth the astronauts were mobbed, with presidents, prime ministers and kings jostling to be seen with them. As the first man to walk on another world, Mr Armstrong received the lion´s share of the adulation. He knew he did not deserve it. He had never been chosen to be first, he would explain in his gently slow-spoken, Midwestern way; he had simply been chosen to command that particular flight. Besides, the popular image of the hard-charging astronaut braving mortal danger, as other men might brave a trip to the dentist, was exaggerated. "For heaven´s sake, I loathe danger," he told one interviewer before his fateful flight. Done properly, he said, space flight ought to be no more perilous than mixing a milkshake.

Indeed, the notion of the "right stuff" possessed by the astronaut corps was never the full story. The symbol of the test-pilot school at Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave desert, where Mr Armstrong spent years testing military jets, flying the X-15 at 4,000mph to the very edge of the atmosphere, is a slide rule over a stylised aircraft. In an address to America´s National Press Club in 2000, he described himself as "a white- socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer, born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in steam tables, in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace, and propelled by compressible flow."

He had an engineer´s reserve, mixed with a natural shyness. Even among the other astronauts, not renowned for their excitability, he was known as the "Ice Commander". Mike Collins, one of his crew-mates on the moon mission, mused that "Neil never transmits anything but the surface layer, and that only sparingly." He once lost control of an unwieldy contraption nicknamed the Flying Bedstead that was designed to help astronauts train for the lunar landing. Ejecting only seconds before his craft hit the ground and exploded, he dusted himself off and coolly went back to his office for the rest of the day. There was work to be done.

That unflappability served him well during the lunar landing. The original landing area turned out to be full of large boulders, and so he had to take control from his spacecraft´s primitive computer and skim across the lunar surface on manual control, looking for somewhere suitable. By the time he found his spot, only 25 seconds of fuel remained in the tanks. But he had often landed the module in practice, he reflected, with 15 seconds´ fuel left.

His calm served him well back on Earth, too. The moon seemed to elevate him and his colleagues to the status of oracles, and people pressed them for their thoughts on everything from the future of the human species to the chances for world peace. Mr Armstrong smiled his bemused smile. He did not care to be known for "one piece of fireworks", but for the ledger of his daily work.

Unlike some of his fellow astronauts (two of whom became senators), he chose a comparatively quiet retirement, teaching aeronautical engineering at the University of Cincinnati. He returned to NASA twice to serve on boards of enquiry, the first into the near-disaster of Apollo 13, the second into the disintegration of the space shuttle Challenger in 1986. He spent his final years on his farm in rural Ohio, not so far from the place where he had first made model aeroplanes and devoured every copy of Flight Trails magazine; but now he was flying gliders in his spare time, the closest that humans could come to being birds.

Over half a century, the man who never admitted surprise was surprised to observe the fading of America´s space programme. The Apollo project was one of the mightiest achievements of the potent combination of big government and big science, but such enterprises came to seem alien as well as unaffordable. Mr Armstrong, who after his flight imagined bases all over the moon, sadly supposed that the public had lost interest when there was no more cold-war competition.

Yet the flights had one huge unintended consequence: they transformed attitudes towards Earth itself. He too had been astonished to see his own planet, "quite beautiful", remote and very blue, covered with a white lace of clouds. His reserve, after all, was not limitless. One photograph showed him in the module after he and Buzz Aldrin had completed their moon-walk, kicking and jumping their way across the vast, sandy, silver surface towards the strangely close horizon. He is dressed in his spacesuit, sports a three-day beard, and is clearly exhausted. On his face is a grin of purest exhilaration.

-- The Economist, September 1, p.78.

2. AAS Astrophotography Competition 2012 - closes Oct. 1

The Auckland Astronomical Society's 2012 Harry Williams Astrophotography Competition is now underway. The competition is open to all New Zealand residents, Astronomical Society members, clubs and groups. Remember, the prestigious Harry Williams Trophy is up for grabs.

There are 4 categories in this competition: Deep Space, Solar System, Artistic/Miscellaneous, Scientific. (Note: you will need to fully explain why your entry has scientific merit to be considered for this section).

Entry forms and competition details can be found on the Auckland Astronomical Society Website. http://www.astronomy.org.nz Winners will be announced at the Burbidge Dinner at Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts, Pakuranga, Auckland on October 28th, 2012.

Competition closing date - Monday 1st October 2012.

Please send your entries by email (max 2MB per email) or copied onto CDROM/USB memory stick and posted with accompanying Entry Forms to; 2012 Harry William's Astrophotography Competition Postal Delivery Address: 2/24 Rapallo Place, Farm Cove, Pakuranga, Auckland 2012.

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject Header: 2012 HW Astrophotography Competition

-- Jennie McCormick

3. AAS Burbidge Dinner - October 27

The Auckland Astronomical Society invites all to the 2012 Burbidge Dinner.

Our guest speaker this year is Professor Richard Easther with the topic of:

Cosmology: Predicting the Future Cosmology has changed dramatically in the last two decades, evolving into a mature and data-driven science. Looking into the future, projects now underway around the world promise a slew of new discoveries in the coming decades. These projects include giant telescopes, space-based particle detectors and gravitational wave observatories -- each of which has the potential to transform astrophysics and cosmology. As a science, cosmology predicts the future of the universe: this evening I will try to predict the future of cosmology, and describe the questions we hope to answer in the future.

Richard Easther is a cosmologist whose work focuses on the evolution of the universe immediately after (and possibly just before) the big bang. Richard grew up in Hamilton. When he was ten he successfully persuaded his parents to buy him a small telescope, and then talked them into letting him build a mount for it on the back lawn. He went to Canterbury to become an astronomer, but left with a PhD in Physics in 1994. He held post-doctoral appointments at Waseda (Japan), Brown and Columbia Universities. Richard taught at Yale for eight years, before returning to New Zealand in late 2011. Richard is currently a professor and Head of Department of Physics at the University of Auckland.

The evening will include presentation of the Beaumont prize for writing in the Journal and the Harry William Astrophotography Competition.

The Burbidge Dinner is always a fun night and a major event in the Society's calendar. All are welcome to join us for an enjoyable evening. Date: Saturday 27th October. Venue: Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts, 13 Reeves Rd, Pakuranga. Start Time: 6:30pm Tickets: $55.00 per person, includes a buffet dinner

Tickets are available from Andrew Buckingham. Please book on 09 473 5877 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

4. The Planets in October

Saturn disappears from the evening sky early in October, leaving Mars visible higher in the mid evening sky. Mercury passes Saturn early in the month to be visible soon after sunset, especially later in October.

Jupiter is to the north in the predawn sky, rising around midnight, while Venus rises a little more than an hour before the Sun so is in the dawn sky to the east.

The evening sky - mercury, mars and saturn

The time at which Mars sets will get only 10 minutes earlier during the October. Even so, the advancing time of sunset will mean the planet gets considerably lower in the sky by the time it is dark enough to view.

The easterly path of Mars through the stars takes it from Libra into the narrow part of Scorpius near delta Sco on October 6 and then on into Ophiuchus on the 18th when the 11% lit moon will be less than 5° below the planet. On the 11th, Mars, magnitude 1.1, will be just over a degree to the right of delta Sco mag 2.3. The binocular double, beta Sco will be 2° the other side of Mars. The two stars forming beta, magnitudes 2.6 and 4.5, are 13.7" apart, so 8x or 10x binoculars should split the pair.

A further interesting conjunction occurs 10 days later, October 21. Mars will then be 3.6° to the lower right of its "rival", Antares. At magnitude 1.06 Antares will be marginally brighter than Mars. The two are, of course, similar in colour.

Mercury is also an evening object, at first very low after sunset. On October 4 it is in conjunction with Saturn. Mercury, at magnitude -0.3 will be a magnitude brighter than Saturn and 3.4° to its left. The pair of planets will be 6° above the horizon 50 minutes after sunset, as seen from Wellington.

Over the following days Mercury will get a little higher in the evening sky and so set later. During the second half of October this will be more than 2 hours after the Sun.

On the 16th Mercury will be 2.5° left of alpha Lib (mag 2.73), a wide double easily split in binoculars. Mercury ends October in Scorpius close to delta Scorpii, magnitude 2.29. The star will be just under 1.5° to the right of Mercury. Antares will be just under 8° above the pair. Mars will be some way above Antares, 16° above and to the right of Mercury. 50 minutes after sunset, Mercury will be about 11° up, midway between west and southwest.

The 5% lit moon will be 3° to the right of Mercury on the evening of October 17. The two will be closer during the afternoon, 1.5° apart, with the moon between Mercury and alpha Lib.

Saturn is in conjunction with the Sun on October 25. It may be briefly visible very low in the evening twilight the first few evenings of the month before being completely lost to view in the bright sky.

Morning sky, jupiter and venus

Jupiter will rise about 1 am (NZDT) at the beginning of October and 2 hours earlier late in the month. So it is easily visible during the second half of the night, near due north an hour before sunset. With a declination more than 20° north of the celestial equator, Jupiter will be low in New Zealand skies, little higher than the mid winter Sun.

The planet is stationary on October 5 so its position will change little in 
the month.  It will be in Taurus, with Aldebaran 7° to its upper left.  The 
two asteroids Vesta and Ceres will be a few degrees to the right of Jupiter.

On the morning of October 6 the 74% lit moon will be 2° left of Jupiter. An occultation of the planet occurs a few hours later. It is visible before sunrise from the southwest corner of Australia and in daylight from southwest Victoria and Tasmania.

Venus rises later than Jupiter, 90 minutes before the Sun at the beginning of October, 70 minutes earlier by the end. So it will be readily visible in the sky before sunrise but quite low to the west.

The planet will be very close to Regulus on the mornings of October 3 and 4. On the 3rd it will be to the left of the star, on the 4th to its right and slightly closer, 30 arc-minutes away (the diameter of the full moon). At its closest Venus and Regulus are only a quarter of this distance apart, but they are not visible from NZ at the time.

The 10% lit crescent moon will be 5° to the upper right of Venus on the morning of October 13.

*********** URANUS was at opposition on September 29 so becomes an evening object in October. It transits and is highest close to 1 am NZDT at the beginning of October and 11 pm at the end. Uranus at magnitude 5.7, is in Pisces about 20° from beta Ceti towards gamma Pegasi.

Neptune rises about 3 hours before Uranus and transits mid evening. The planet with a magnitude 7.8 to 7.9 is in Aquarius near Capricornus. It is just over 7° from delta Cap.

Brighter asteroids:

(1) Ceres and (4) Vesta are both in the vicinity of Jupiter and Aldebaran so are visible in the morning sky.

Ceres brightens from magnitude 8.6 to 8.0 during October. It starts the month on the northern edge of Orion but moves into Gemini on the 12th.

Vesta is in Taurus close to Orion during October, about 10° to the upper right of Jupiter. It brightens from magnitude 7.8 to 7.3.

(2) Pallas is in Cetus about 10° from beta Cet. It starts October at magnitude 8.4, slightly brighter than Ceres, but fades to 8.9 during the month..

More details and charts for these minor planets can be found on the RASNZ web site. Follow the link to asteroids 2012.

--- Brian Loader

5. RASNZ Conferences 2013 and 2015

The 2013 conference will be held in Invercargill, hosted by the Southland Astronomical Society. The venue is the Ascot Park Hotel. Many members will remember previous conferences hosted by the Southland Astronomical Society at the same venue and know to expect an excellent meeting.

The dates for the 2013 conference are Friday 24 May to Sunday 26 May. The conference will be followed by another Trans Tasman Occultation Symposium on Monday and Tuesday 27 and 28.

The Ascot Park Hotel has plenty of on-site accommodation, both hotel and motel. In addition there are other motels close by. For more details of the venue, nearby accommodation and local attractions - including the Bluff Oyster Festival - visit the RASNZ web site at <http://www.rasnz.org.nz>.

Registration forms for the conference will be available on line later this year. Meanwhile it is not too early to start planning to present a paper at the conference. We would particularly like to have papers reporting on your observational work. We hope to include representatives from all the RASNZ sections so giving a view of the work being carried out by sections. Equally affiliated societies should be looking at making a presentation reporting on their observational programmes as well as other activities and developments. Conference provides a chance to widely publicise your society.

---------- Looking ahead - Expressions of interest to host the 2015 Conference

The RASNZ Standing Conference Committee (SCC) invites interested societies, affiliated to the RASNZ, to offer to host the 2015 RASNZ conference. Conferences are usually held in May. For further information, interested societies should contact the SCC by email to <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> as soon as possible.

Interested societies will be sent a guide to the facilities needed at the conference venue and an outline of the responsibilities of the Local Organising Committee which they will need to form.

The SCC hopes to be able to make a recommendation for the host of the 2015 conference to the RASNZ Council by the end of November 2012 so a formal invitation can be issued.

-- Brian Loader, Chair, RASNZ SCC.

6. Whakatane Ast Soc Community Award

The Whakatane Astronomical Society received the 2012 Regional Commendation for Educational and Child/Youth development in the TrustPower Community Awards. The citation reads: Presented in recognition of an outstanding contribution to the Whakatane District. 'Seven space enthusiasts make up the team behind this organisation that offers one of Whakatane's premier night time attractions. With three telescopes in two observatories, this group offers two weekly public viewing nights, often more! And by doing this, they are encouraging the knowledge of all aspects of astronomy among schools, the community and tourists. Over recent years, the society has ticked off many significant milestones including the completion of a storeroom and observatory, which was close to $50,000 worth of work. The society is also proud of its modern audio visual room, used for presentations to large groups or for when the weather doesn't want to cooperate for night sky viewing. One milestone that the Society is working towards is hosting the 2014 AGM of the country's Royal Astronomical Society. It was last held here 45 years ago, and this AGM will coincide with the group's big 50th anniversary. The Whakatane Astronomical Society is on a mission to enhance their facilities and grounds so they can put on an event to remember, hosting both national and international astronomers. Good luck with this project!' ----------- And they got a $100 credit to their TrustPower account. The Whakatane Ast Soc's website is http://www.skyofplenty.com/

7. Tourism Awards to Earth & Sky

Lake Tekapo's Earth & Sky company received the Hospitality and Tourism Large Enterprise Award at the South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards in Timaru on August 24.

This was followed with the Runner-up trophy for New Zealand's Travel Industry Best Tour Operator - Domestic at the NZ Travel Industry Awards 2012 in Auckland on September 9.

Earth and Sky run popular night-time tours on Mt John and at a site south- east of Lake Tekapo village. They also have a daytime café on Mt John with an Observatory tour option. See http://earthandskynz.com/earthandsky/ for details.

8. John Hearnshaw Visits North Korea

A week in the Democratic People´s Republic of Korea may not sound like everyone´s idea of a fun holiday destination. I just spent the first week of September in that country and absolutely enjoyed every minute of my time. The Koreans treated me like a celebrity rock star or visiting president, with a large black limousine and chauffeur assigned to me for a week, during which time doors to important people and places were opened to me and every effort was made to please and impress. As the first astronomer ever to visit North Korea from another country (except for some Chinese astronomers who went to Pyongyang over 10 years ago), and also one of the few foreign scientists of any type to go there, the Koreans certainly appreciated my visit.

In addition I took with me a small library of 109 astronomical books as a gift for the Korean astronomers and students who have little access to modern published scientific literature and no internet access. More on that mission in a while.

My visit to North Korea was organized by the Korea-NZ Friendship Society, which has close links with the NZ-DPRK Society in New Zealand. In particular, Mr Hwang Sung Chol, the Friendship Society´s secretary-general in Pyongyang, was extremely helpful in putting together a very full programme of events and visits, which included three lectures, each of two hours´ duration, at the Kim Il Sung University, meetings with astronomers from the Pyongyang Astronomical Observatory and with officials from the Academy of Sciences and 19 cultural visits to see sites, performances and monuments in and around the capital city. In DPRK the Society is under the umbrella of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and has five full-time staff members. Two of these, Mr Hwang and Miss Li Mi Hyung, both of whom had fluent English, accompanied me at all times, and even lived with me in the same hotel. Such close surveillance might seem quite oppressive; but that is normal for all visitors in North Korea, and in the event they proved to be charming people and welcome company.

I entered DPRK by train, setting out from Beijing on the 1 September, a 27- hour journey interrupted by about five hours at the frontier while passports and bags were inspected. I am pleased I chose the train option to get there; it gave idyllic glimpses of beautiful green countryside under intensive horticultural production in the 230 km from the frontier to Pyongyang (which took an unbelievable 7 hours), and was a refreshing change from the smog- laden air of China.

Before departing I had collected the library of books from friends and colleagues attending the International Astronomical Union´s General Assembly in Beijing. Each book was labelled with the donor´s name and then packed into five large boxes. I decided to air freight these to Pyongyang, a wise decision given the crowded conditions on the train. So I took the 100 kg library to Beijing Airport on the morning before the train departed, and assigned them to Air Koryo (the North Korean airline) who kindly flew them for free.

Pyongyang is a spacious and well laid out city on the Taedong River with many attractive trees and parks and some stunning modern architecture, with some amazing public facilities such as numerous sports stadia, theatres, hotels and museums. On the first day I visited Kim Il Sung University on a large campus in the north of the city. They have some very modern facilities, especially notable being the numerous computer laboratories and a very well equipped modern lecture theatre where I gave my presentations. All the lectures had a running translation into Korean. However all North Korean students these days learn English, and after my talks they said the translations were unnecessary; they could follow everything in English.

A number of highlights of my cultural visits are worth mentioning. On my first day following the afternoon lecture, I was taken to the Korea-NZ Friendship School, where I was greeted by staff and shown round before the secondary students put on an hour-long performance in the school hall of music, dance and songs for my benefit. A performance of Pokarekare Ana by the school choir was a notable highlight.

Another school visit was to Kumsong College, where highly selected gifted pupils are given intensive education specializing in science and the performing arts. Once again a superb hour-long performance in the school hall for my sole benefit was put on.

But perhaps the biggest cultural event was a visit to the Arirang Mass Gymnastics and Artistic performance at the impressive May Day Stadium, a nearly two-hour show with 100,000 performers in wonderful costumes doing synchronized dancing and gymnastics to music before 100,000 spectators. I have never seen anything like this before - it was exhilarating and amazing.

I left DPRK last weekend after a truly amazing week, this time entrusting my life to a 40-year old Ilyushin jet of Air Koryo for my return to Beijing.

So what about the `Axis of Evil´, the food shortages, the starving malnourished population, the political indoctrination, the labour camps for political prisoners and the Kim-Il-Sung personality cult? Yes, I was told there are food shortages, a result of both droughts and floods in recent years, not a result of any failure of the political system. But I saw no sign of the food shortage nor of malnourished people, nor of infertile or unproductive land. Perhaps my visit was so closely orchestrated that these things were kept far from my gaze - who knows? And yes, DPRK has the world´s fourth largest army with over a million soldiers enlisted, one of the world´s larger submarine fleets and they claim to have nuclear weapons that are ready to be launched to the south at a moment´s notice.

My analysis is they are in a hole and want to get out and open up their country to the world. But they are surrounded by hostile powers and don´t know how easily to get out of the hole. I heard numerous stories about how the Japanese imperialists invaded Korea in 1910 and ransacked and raped the country for 35 years (which I am sure is true) until the Great Leader Kim Il Sung defeated them in 1945 (actually it was the Soviet and US armies that really did the job, which is conveniently not mentioned!). The great leader was followed by Dear Leader Kim Jong Il, a curiously reticent person who rarely was seen in public, but whose benevolence led the people forward in their anti-imperialist struggles. I soon tired of hearing about the great and dear leaders´ exploits. Less often mentioned was Kim Jong Un, the new respected leader and grandson of the first Kim. There are hints he wants to instigate a gradual reform and open up North Korea - surely the world´s most isolated country - though slowly rather than through a cataclysmic upheaval. Hopefully this evolutionary process will now get under way, and perhaps more scientific exchanges like mine will help promote this process.

Overall, the Korean people were very friendly and happy to discuss everything. They too want change and to have international contacts, especially so for the scientists I spoke to. I believe that if they can adopt a more open posture to the world, then the extreme predominance of their military first policy and the fanatical Kim personality cult will mellow, and North Korea and the world will be a better place as a result.

-- John Hearnshaw. This article, with photos, first appeared in the University of Canterbury's Physics & Astronomy Department Newsletter of September 14. See http://www.phys.canterbury.ac.nz/newsletter/2012/index.shtml

9. Funding Cuts in the U.S., The Netherlands and the U.K.

The United States National Science Foundation (NSF) Astronomy Portfolio Review Committee (PRC) has published its report on August 14 this year. In essence, their recommendations include - among others - that the NSF's Green Bank Telescope (GBT) and Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) be fully divested from the NSF Astronomy Division's portfolio of research facilities in the next five years, with no further funding from the Astronomy Division.

"Divestment from these highly successful, long-running facilities will be difficult for all of us in the astronomical community. We must, however, consider the science tradeoff between divesting existing facilities and the risk of devastating cuts to individual research grants, mid-scale projects, and new initiatives."

Links:

NSF: http://www.nsf.gov/mps/ast/ast_portfolio_review.jsp Full report (170 pages): http://www.nsf.gov/mps/ast/portfolioreview/reports/ast_portfolio_review_repor t.pdf

Initial public statement from Associated Universities Inc. (AUI) and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO): http://www.nrao.edu/pr/2012/portfolio/

Decadal Survey of 2010 (New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics): http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=12951 Full report: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12951

----- The University of Utrecht in The Netherlands closed down its well-known and successful astronomy department at the end of last year. Christoph U. Keller (Leiden Observatory) published a paper last month on arXiv.org (http://arxiv.org/pdf/1208.4095v1). The abstract reads: "I describe the last years of the 370-year long life of the Sterrekundig Instituut Utrecht, which was the second-oldest university observatory in the world and was closed in early 2012 after the Faculty of Science and the Board of Utrecht University decided, without providing qualitative or quantitative arguments, to remove astrophysics from its research and education portfolio."

----- September's Sky & Telescope summarized cuts being made by the United Kingdom's Science and Technology Facilities Council to astronomical programmes. The 3.8-metre UK Infrared Telescope on Muana Kea is to close in September 2013 and the 15-metre James Clerk Maxwell (submillimetre) Telescope in 2014. The UK will continue to participate in the ALMA, the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array, and in the European Extremely Large Telescope.

----- -- Thanks to Roland Idaczyk for the U.S. and Utrecht notes.

10. Canadian House Exchange Sought

House exchange wanted for all or part of March, 2013. I have pier-mounted 12" Meade SC go-to telescope on 6 acre property with orchard, Hornby Island, BC, Canada. 2-bedroom house, electric and wood heat, washer/dryer, wifi, sound system, tv and dvd, exercise machine, composting toilet. Other amenities: beaches walking distance, skiing on Mount Washington nearby. Seek modest accommodation with telescope in New Zealand (rental also considered). (250) 335-0005. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

-- Dan Bruiger

11. How to Join the RASNZ

A membership application form and details can be found on the RASNZ website http://www.rasnz.org.nz/InfoForm/membform.htm. Please note that the weblink to membership forms is case sensitive. Alternatively please send an email to the membership secretary This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information.

The annual subscription rate is $75, not including the Yearbook. For overseas rates please check with the membership secretary, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

12. Gifford-Eiby Lecture Fund

The RASNZ administers the Gifford-Eiby Memorial Lectureship Fund to assist Affiliated Societies with travel costs of getting a lecturer or instructor to their meetings. Details are in RASNZ By-Laws Section H.

For an application form contact the Executive Secretary This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., R O'Keeffe, 662 Onewhero-Tuakau Bridge Rd, RD 2, TUAKAU 2697

13. Kingdon-Tomlinson Fund

The RASNZ is responsible for recommending to the trustees of the Kingdon Tomlinson Fund that grants be made for astronomical projects. The grants may be to any person or persons, or organisations, requiring funding for any projects or ventures that promote the progress of astronomy in New Zealand. Full details are set down in the RASNZ By-Laws, Section J.

For an application form contact the RASNZ Executive Secretary, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. R O'Keeffe, 662 Onewhero-Tuakau Bridge Rd, RD 2, TUAKAU 2697

14. Here and There

From The Observatory, 2012 August:

THANKS FOR NOTHING

We also thank --- for evaporating the mirror. -- PASP, v.121,383, 2009.

IT CERTAINLY IS We report the discovery... of a peculiar Type IIn supernova... in NGC 1260. With a peak visual magnitude of about -22, it is the most luminous supernova ever recorded. -- Ap.J., v.666, 1116, 2007.

AN INFLAMMATORY IDEA Displays of the Northern Lights occur when solar particles enter the Earth's atmosphere and on impact emit burning gases that produce different coloured lights (oxygen produces green and yellow; nitrogen blue). -- Daily Telegraph, Travel Supplement, 2012 February 11, p.2.

ALLOWS THE HOT AIR TO ESCAPE ...our current telescopes lack the resolving power to see the accretion disc down to the vent horizon... -- Astronomy Now, 2012 February, p.9.

GET SET TO DUCK! The [James Webb Telescope], which will orbit 1.5 kilometres above Earth, is set to launch in 2018. -- Victoria Times-Colonist, 2012 March 7, p. B7.


Newsletter editor:

Alan Gilmore   Phone: 03 680 6000
P.O. Box 57   Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Lake Tekapo 7945
New Zealand