The RASNZ Email newsletter is distributed by email on or near the 20th of each month. If you would like to be on the circulation list This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a copy.

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. Graham Blow Receives IOTA Award
2. The Solar System in November
3. More on Comet ISON C/2012 S1
4. AAS Burbidge Dinner Saturday, 9th November
5. Astro Photography Weekend at Foxton Beach Nov. 29 - Dec.1
6. NACAA XXVI, Melbourne, 18-21 April 2014
7. RASNZ Conference, Whakatane, 6-8 June 2014
8. Maya Barlev's NZ Report
9. Aoraki Mackenzie Starlight Festival 2013
10. Major Star Atlases Up for Grabs
11. Has Anyone Got a Telescope for Loan/Lease?
12. How to Join the RASNZ

1. Graham Blow Receives IOTA Award

Homer F. DaBoll Award, 2013 awarded to Graham Lindsay Blow

The Homer F. DaBoll award is given annually by the International Occultation Timing Association () to an individual in recognition of significant contributions to Occultation Science. This year it has been awarded to Graham Blow, the award being announced at the annual meeting of IOTA held in Toronto at the beginning of October.

Graham started a programme of observing occultations with the Auckland Astronomical Society in the early 1970s. The RASNZ Occultation Section grew out of the Auckland occultation programme. Graham formed the Occultation Section in October 1977 and has remained director of the section to the present day.

His enthusiastic promotion of the observation and timing of total and, especially, grazing lunar occultations as well as those by asteroids, resulted in the Occultation Section becoming one of the most successful sections of the RASNZ, with an international reputation. It is effectively the Australasian Occultation organisation.

Since its formation the main emphasis of the Section has moved from lunar to asteroidal occultations. Increasingly accurate predictions and the use of video cameras with high accuracy time stamping of video frames have led to a greater interest in this type of event. One of the results of the advent of new technology was the first, highly successful, Trans Tasman Symposium on Occultations (TTSO) organised by Graham Blow and held in conjunction with the 2007 RASNZ conference. A similar symposium has been held annually since then, alternately in Australia and New Zealand. The 7th symposium was held this year in Invercargill, the 8th is planned to be held in association with the Easter NACAA conference at Melbourne in 2014.

Minor Planet 19582 is named Blow recognising his promotion and coordination of minor planet occultation observations for the Australasian region.

If it had not been for Graham Blow´s interest and stimulation there probably be little or no occultation astronomy in New Zealand and probably less in Australia. I feel the award by IOTA of the Homer F. DaBoll award to Graham at this time is entirely appropriate and well deserved.

-- Brian Loader

2. The Solar System in November

THE SOLAR SYSTEM IN NOVEMBER 2013

All dates and times are NZDT (UT + 13 hours) unless otherwise specified.

Phases of the moon (times as shown by guide)

New moon:      November  4 at  1.50 am (Nov  3, 12:50 UT)
First quarter: November 10 at  6.57 pm (        05:57 UT)
Full moon:     November 18 at  4.16 am (Nov 17, 15:16 UT)
Last quarter   November 26 at  8.28 am (Oct 25, 19:28 UT)

At the new moon in November there will be an annular/total eclipse of the Sun. The eclipse starts as annular in the Atlantic Ocean some distance to the east of Florida. At the start of the eclipse it is annular, but rapidly becomes total and remains so for the rest of the eclipse. Its path is to the south east across the Atlantic and enters Africa close to the equator. The eclipse ends at sunset just short of the east coast of Africa.

Almost all of Africa will see some part of the eclipse as will southern Europe. No part is visible from Australia or New Zealand.

The planets in november

Venus is in the sky throughout the evening and, for most of NZ, does not set until after midnight.

Jupiter rises soon after midnight, Mars 2 to 3 hours before the Sun, so both planets are visible in the pre-dawn morning sky.

Both Mercury and Saturn are too close to the Sun to observe throughout November.

Venus, the evening planet.

Venus is at its greatest elongation, 47° east of the Sun on November 1. It is also some 3.5° south of the ecliptic. As a result the planet will be high in southern skies and set late. For most of New Zealand, Venus will set shortly after midnight (NZDT) throughout November. In the north, as at Auckland, it will set two or three minutes before midnight for much of the month, about slightly earlier at the end of the month.

So it will remain a brilliant object, magnitude -4.5, some 30° up to the west shortly after sunset. At its highest in the afternoon, between 4 and 5 pm, the planet will be around 70° above the horizon so almost overhead.

Venus will be just over 30% lit as seen from the Earth, so viewed through a small telescope will appear as a brilliant, broad crescent.

Jupiter and MARS in the morning sky.

Both these planets are only visible in the morning sky before sunrise. Jupiter comes up first, between 1 and 2 am NZDT early in November and the better part of 2 hours earlier at the end of the month. By then it will rise shortly before midnight in all but the extreme south of NZ.

Mars rises some two and a half to three hours after Jupiter, two to two and a half hours before the Sun.

Jupiter is over 20° north of the equator so remains low in NZ skies, especially in the south, at a similar altitude to the Sun near mid winter. Mars is not as far north but is still quite low while it is visible before sunrise.

The moon will be to the south of Jupiter on the mornings of the 22nd and 23rd of November. The two will be just over 7° apart on both mornings with the moon to the upper left of Jupiter on the 22nd and to its upper right on the 23rd.

The moon will be closest to Mars on the 28th. The planet, magnitude 1.3, will be 5° to the lower left of the 32% lit moon.

Mercury and SATURN, two planets not observable in November.

Mercury is at inferior conjunction between the Earth and Sun on November 2 (NZ time). The planet will then be just over 100 million km from the Earth and 48 million from the Sun. As seen from the Earth the planet will pass about 1 solar radius south of the Sun.

After inferior conjunction Mercury becomes a morning object. By November 18 the planet will have swung as far out from the Sun as it will get this cycle, some 19° west of the Sun. At its best the planet will rise little more than half an hour before the Sun, so will not be visible.

Saturn is at conjunction with the Sun on the 6th. This will mark its move to the morning sky. By the end of November it will rise nearly an hour before the Sun, but is not likely to be visible in the brightening sky.

On the morning of the 27th, the two planets will be only 1° apart in the eastern sky, but will be too low in the dawn sky to see.

Outer planets

Both Uranus and Neptune are evening objects during November. Uranus at magnitude

5.7 is in Pisces very close to its border with Cetus. Neptune is at magnitude
7.9 and is in Aquarius. Both set well after midnight.

Brighter asteroids:

(1) Ceres and (4) both remain as low objects in the dawn sky, magnitudes about 8.8 and 8.2 respectively. The two asteroids are about 7° apart with Vesta to the upper left of Ceres as seen in the morning sky. They are to the lower right of Mars. The two asteroids are in Virgo all month.

(2) Pallas is in Hydra and brightens slightly during November from 8.8 to 8.5. It rises just before 1 am at the beginning of November and soon after 11 pm by the month´s end.

(20) Massalia was at opposition on the last day of October at magnitude 8.8. The asteroid is in Aries, about 10° to the upper right of the second magnitude star Hamal, alpha Ari. During November it fades steadily, back to 9.5 by the 30th.

-- Brian Loader

3. More on Comet ISON C/2012 S1

Comet ISON's nucleus has one hemisphere facing the sun as the comet approaches perihelion. This is a conclusion of a team at Arizona's Planetary Science Institute led by Jian-Yang Li. Thus the other hemisphere of this 'new' comet's nucleus won't see sunshine till the comet is closer to the sun than Mercury.

The surface on the currently dark side of the comet should still retain a large fraction of very volatile materials. Sudden exposure to the strong sunlight when the comet is closer to the Sun than Mercury could trigger a huge outburst of material, the team suggests.

The outburst would begin about a week before the comet reaches perihelion. Thus we may see a sudden brightening after November 20th. If so then the comet could project a tail into the dawn sky before it rounds the sun on Nov. 28.77 UT. At its closest it will be just 1.2 million km from the sun's surface.

"As a first-time visitor to the inner solar system, Comet ISON provides astronomers a rare opportunity to study a fresh comet preserved since the formation of the solar system," said Li. "The expected high brightness of the comet as it nears the Sun allows for many important measurements that are impossible for most other fresh comets."

-- from a Planetary Science Institute press release forwarded by Karen Pollard.

Images of Comet ISON taken by the Hubble Space Telescope on October 9 show the comet's solid nucleus is unresolved because it is so small. If the nucleus had broken apart then the HST images would likely seen evidence for multiple fragments.

The images also show that the coma or head surrounding the comet's nucleus is symmetric and smooth. This would probably not be the case if clusters of smaller fragments were flying along. A polar jet of dust first seen in Hubble images taken in April is no longer visible and may have turned off. For more see:

http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2013/42/image/a/ http://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/nasas-hubble-sees-comet-ison-intact/

4. AAS Burbidge Dinner Saturday, 9th November

 

The Burbidge Dinner is the highlight of the Auckland Astronomical Society's calendar and is always an enjoyable evening. We invite all to join us and enjoy this great event! Tickets are available from Andrew Buckingham by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., by phone 09 473 5877.

The after-dinner talk will be: "The Dynamic Sky" by Dr Dick Manchester, CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, Sydney.

When we look at the night sky, apart from the regular diurnal and seasonal progressions, it seems very stable. But this is far from the case. Many stars in our Milky Way are varying on timescales ranging from hours to years. Supernovae are exploding in distant galaxies producing bursts of light than can outshine the entire host galaxy for a few weeks. When we use radio telescopes or telescopes sensitive to gamma rays, the sky is even more dynamic. Pulsars send us regular bursts at intervals ranging from milliseconds to seconds and gamma-ray bursts from the distant Universe bombard the Earth many times a day. For some of these events we understand the underlying mechanisms reasonably well but others remain a mystery. A new generation of telescopes will help us to unravel these mysteries.

Dr Dick Manchester is a world pulsar expert and is using pulsars to test theories of gravity. A Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, he leads a team of astronomers at CSIRO's Australia Telescope National Facility (ATNF) dedicated to unlocking the secrets of pulsars. His qualifications and awards are extensive including an ISI Australian Citation Laureate in 2001 and an Inaugural Member of the ISI Highly Cited Researchers in 2002.

The evening will also include the presentation of the Beaumont prize for the best article written in the Journal by a member and the Astrophotography Competition with the awarding of the Harry Williams Trophy.

Date: Saturday, 9th November Venue: Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts, 13 Reeves Rd, Pakuranga, Auckland. Start Time: 6:30pm Tickets: Earlybird price $55.00 per person. ($60 per person after 26th October.) Includes a buffet dinner.

-- Andrew Buckingham

5. Astro Photography Weekend at Foxton Beach Nov. 29 - Dec.1

The Horowhenua Astronomical Society is hosting an astrophotography weekend at Foxton Beach, Horowhenua, November 29th-1st December.

The weekend will be a hands-on practical event so people are encouraged to bring along their own cameras/tripods/mounts/scopes etc. All sorts of imaging is welcome - solar, planetary, deep-sky, wide field (and there may even be a comet around :-))

The venue is well equipped and secure so gear will be safe. There is a large kitchen, cabins for accommodation and a large lecture hall for presentations.

As well as actual imaging there will be processing workshops where everyone can share their tips. Also, there will be presentations on different aspects of astrophotography from Prof Bill Williams, John Burt, Stephen Chadwick, Frank Andrews, Ian Cooper, John Drummond and George Ionas.

For full details please visit this page: http://www.horoastronomy.org.nz/upcoming-events/astrophotography-weekend

-- Steve Chadwick, President, Horowhenua Astronomical Society.

6. NACAA XXVI, Melbourne, 18-21 April 2014

The National Australian Convention of Amateur Astronomers (NACAA) is in Melbourne in Easter 2014, 18-21 April.

NACAA aims to bring together amateur (and not-so-amateur) astronomers from Australia, New Zealand, and beyond to share in learning, disseminating and planning cutting-edge astronomical work in the region. We always plan to have a full weekend, Friday to Monday, of various streams of presentations covering a great width of astronomical work including observing, instrumentation, education, research, history and local activities.

The core of the convention is of course its presentations, and we are asking you to consider making a contribution, by yourself or in a group. There are no restrictions on topics or themes, so long as the contribution is significant and interesting. Here are a few suggestions:

An address or poster: on an observational (or desk-bound) research programme you are involved in; on a significant development in instrumentation and tools: optical, computational, imaging, electronic, whatever; on your progress with a significant project or programme, national or worldwide; to share your imaging successes with an appreciative audience; an entertaining address aimed at promoting the enjoyment of astronomy; on a significant club or local activity; or on an interesting piece of astronomical history.

A workshop, symposium, colloquium, or round-table meeting: on an observing or research technique you use; helping amateurs move to a more advanced level of astronomical activity in research, imaging, observing, etc; with likeminded specialists to discuss or plan your field; on an educational or outreach activity;

You can submit a proposal for consideration by the Programme Committee by completing the form on the NACAA website http://www.nacaa.org.au/2014/submission. The full submissions guidelines can be obtained from http://www.nacaa.org.au/2014/cfp. You may make multiple submissions. Submissions should be made before: 2013 October 1 for workshops, colloquia, or symposia; 2013 November 1 for oral presentations or round- tables; 2014 March 1 for posters. Late submissions may be accepted, depending on venue restrictions, scheduling, etc.

For further information contact the Programme Committee or the General Secretary via the NACAA web site http://www.nacaa.org.au/contact .

-- Abridged from a message circulated by Alan Plummer, Programme Chair, NACAA 2014.

7. RASNZ Conference, Whakatane, 6-8 June 2014

The 2014 conference is being hosted by the Whakatane Astronomical Society, marking their 50th anniversary. The conference will be held at the Whakatane War Memorial Hall from Friday 6th June to Sunday 8th June. The venue is situated in Rex Morpeth Park off Short Street.

The conference will be followed by the third Variable Stars South Symposium (VSSS3) on Monday 9th June. The venue for the symposium is the Eastbay REAP centre in O´Rourke Place. This is about 5 minutes walk from the conference venue.

Registration forms for conference will be available on line in the near future. Forms, along with a conference brochure, will also be included with the December mailing of Southern Stars.

Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Guest Speaker for 2014 The SCC is very pleased that Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell has accepted an invitation to be our guest speaker for the 2014 conference. Jocelyn is renowned for making the first observations of a Pulsar in 1967.

Philip Yock, Fellows´ Speaker for 2014 The fellows´ speaker for 2014 is Philip Yock, associate professor in the Department of Physics at Auckland University. The title of his talk is "From Particles to Planets"

Paper Submissions The RASNZ SCC is calling for offers to present a paper at the 2014 conference. All those active in any aspect of astronomy are invited to make a submission to present a paper. Details and a submission form are available on the RASNZ Wiki: http://www.rasnz.org.nz/wiki/doku.php?id=conference:start .

8. Maya Barlev's NZ Report

Report from Astronomy Education Exploration in New Zealand

As part of her scholarship, Maya Barlev travelled from the USA to a number of countries in pursuit of knowledge on how students learn about the concepts of astronomy. We were fortunate to have Maya come to New Zealand for a number of weeks and the RASNZ Education Group along with other organizations helped to support her with her travels connecting her with a variety of people around the country to make her trip as valuable as possible. What we got in return was to be a part of an amazing journey that culminated in her attending the International Astronomy Olympiad supporting our New Zealand team. During her visit those that spent time with Maya reported how pleasant she was and how amazing she was with children. We also got to reflect on how we do things here in New Zealand as we saw ourselves through a fresh lens. The report that follows is from Maya on her time spent in New Zealand.

-- Ron Fisher RASNZ Education group convener


As a visiting astronomer from the United States, I wanted to recognize and thank the Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand for their endless support during my travels this past fall and winter. From July 2012 to August 2013, I traveled to six countries on six continents exploring how children are learning astronomy worldwide, as supported by the Thomas J. Watson fellowship in the United States. From April to July, 2013 I looked at this research specifically through a New Zealand lens. My main motivation for visiting New Zealand was to explore the intersection between a high-achieving science education system and traditional Moari/Pasifika cultural beliefs about the Universe.

In planning my year of travel, New Zealand struck me immediately as the most welcoming place to conduct my research. Long before I even received the fellowship, I had a dozen contacts from around the country ready and excited to help me in any way possible. This warmth and hospitality permeated my experience in New Zealand, and I am so thankful to the astronomical community for making my research there so productive and meaningful.

I started my project in Christchurch, working with the University of Canterbury's Astronomy Education and Outreach team, visiting local schools and also sitting in on the last few days of the AURORA camp in late April. The UC faculty also helped me plan a trip to Tekapo to visit the Mt. John Observatory and enjoy perhaps the most stunning night sky I've seen all year (even compared to my time in Northern Chile!)

During my travels on the South Island, I was introduced to New Zealand´s ubiquitous amateur astronomer community when the South Canterbury Astronomical Society invited me to speak at their Global Astronomy Month programs in Timaru. This was my first glance at how the amateur communities in New Zealand are truly the driving force behind astronomy education and outreach in a majority of the country.

I had never engaged much with amateur groups in other places, including the U.S., but in visiting New Zealand, I learned what an invaluable resource you are to public outreach. Because there are few professional astronomers in amateur societies, you are, by definition, also members of the public and able to share astronomy on a relatable and practical level. You show people that it´s possible for anyone to be passionate about astronomy, regardless of age or level of education. Much of my year has been about access to astronomy, and I was inspired in New Zealand to see how through the outreach provided by amateur groups, there is a push to make the science available to everyone. Having come personally from an academic background in astrophysics, I also learned a lot about things I never knew before which are essential to public outreach, such as knowledge of the skies and use of small telescopes.

On the North Island, I focused on visiting the major astronomy education centers in New Zealand, such as Carter and Stardome, as well as the other smaller planetariums throughout the country. I appreciate how these centers use a variety of exhibits and planetarium shows to share astronomical information with people of all ages, and also how dedicated staff is to reaching kids and educators directly.

I was also inspired by how these centers so gracefully integrate cultural and scientific aspects of astronomy. It was in these centers that I learned about Matariki and Maori astronomy. It was refreshing to see "scientific" astronomy working alongside "cultural" astronomy and even more invigorating to see that this was an approach that helped children engage with our Universe on multiple levels. It makes sense to kids that there are many stories that explain our Universe, and this plurality of ideas allows for their imaginations to construct new stories. The creativity to push an idea to something previously unimaginable is what I love about astronomy and what it is at its core.

In July, I moved on from New Zealand to Greece for the 7th International Olympiad of Astronomy and Astrophysics. This was the first year New Zealand sent a team to the IOAA, and I had the pleasure of getting to know the team well during the Olympiad. The IOAA is such an incredible event because it allows for teens from around the world to be in community based on this shared passion for astronomy. The NZ team did an incredible job within this community, with other participants, guides and leaders appreciating their company, sense of humor and unique perspectives.

I believe they offered something different to the IOAA, making the event more well-rounded and international. Their hard work, preparation and sacrifice truly paid off as they got to represent their country through their love of astronomy. It is my hope that this year´s team has set a precedent and that New Zealand can be a regular participating and leading nation for Olympiads in years to come.

With these lessons in mind, now being back in the United States and looking to dive into how astronomy education functions in my own country, I carry with me the holistic, passionate and dedicated approaches to astronomy education that I learned while in New Zealand.

My list of thank you´s is a long one, but my time in New Zealand would not have been what it was without the following people: Karen Pollard, Peter Cottrell and Sharlene Mullen at the University of Canterbury, Ben McNabb in Christchurch, Alan Gilmore at Mount John, Wyn and Peter Aldous in Geraldine, Robert and Heather McTeague in Timaru, Claire Bletherton and the education staff at Carter Observatory, Jenny Pollock and Sterling Catham in Nelson, Ron Fisher and the Cosmodome, Hari Mogosanu, Chris Monigatti from Tawa College, Marilyn Head, Frank Andrews from the Wellington Astronomical Society, Richard Hall and Kay Leather from Stonehenge Aotearoa, Gary Sparks and the Napier Planetarium, Jack Thatcher and family in Tauranga, Sky of Plenty/Whakatane Astronomical Society, Gloria Witheford, Beth Ven der Loeff, David Britten and staff from the Stardome Planetarium, Grant Christie and Andrew Buckingham from the Auckland Astronomical Society, the Painter family from the Northland Astronomical Society, and finally Darina Khun, Navodhi Delpachitra, Connor Hale, Daniel Yska and Gordon Hudson from team New Zealand at the IOAA2013.

You shared with me your experience, your knowledge, your astronomy education spaces (mobile and permanent), your classrooms, your students, your homes, great meals, and beautiful skies. I learned so much during my short time in New Zealand because of your boundless generosity and hospitality. If I can ever be of assistance to you, please always feel free to contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

-- Maya Barlev

9. Aoraki Mackenzie Starlight Festival 2013

The Aoraki Mackenzie Starlight Festival (www.starlightfestival.org.nz) took place in Tekapo from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon, 11-13 October. It was a public outreach event promoting astronomy, dark skies, space and the environment put on by the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve Board (which I chair) in partnership with the University of Canterbury (in particular our Department and with help from the UC Foundation). The Festival celebrated the creation of our International Dark Sky Reserve, recognized by the International Dark Sky Association, in June last year.

The opening ceremony took place in the Godley Hotel on the Friday evening, with a powhiri, a talk on Maori astronomy by Pauline Harris, the opening of a photographic and art exhibition (curated by local artist Elizabeth Jenkins) with seven mainly local (Tekapo) exhibitors showing Mackenzie country landscapes and starscapes, and a viewing of the New Zealand documentary Venus: a Quest by Shirley and Roger Horrocks.

Next day included viewing the Sun with solar telescopes outside the Community Hall (coordinated by Steve Maddox and Loretta Dunne), a talk on human spaceflight by NASA astronaut Marsha Ivins (this packed out the Community Hall to standing room only), the presentation of certificates and Galileoscopes to the ten winners of our Margaret Mahy Starlight Essay/Poetry competition by Marsha Ivins and Genesis CEO, Albert Brantley (who had sponsored the NZ-wide schools´ competition), a Galileoscope workshop at which 120 excited young people built Galileoscopes under the guidance of five tutors from Science Alive! and UC´s outreach coordinator, Joan Gladwyn, an open-air concert by the 55-strong Christchurch Youth Orchestra playing popular pieces by Holst, Strauss, Dvo?ák and others, a documentary on light pollution and stargazing (the City Dark, directed by Ian Cheney) and a Starlight barbecue, hosted by Earth and Sky and the Canterbury Astronomical Society on Cowan´s Hill. Although there was some cloud early evening, most of the day and the night were clear, so all events went well. We also had Galileoscope viewing, a night stargazing visit to Mt John and telescopes at Cowan´s Hill Observatory, so most people who wanted to were able to see planets, stars and nebulae through small telescopes.

On Sunday, Karen Masters (University of Portsmouth, UK), who was in New Zealand as Beatrice Hill Tinsley fellow for 2013, gave a talk at the Festival on the Zoo of Galaxies; like Marsha Ivins the day before, she had 200 or so people in the Hall completely enthralled by her public talk. Sunday afternoon was a chance for the Department to show off our research, telescopes and instrumentation in astronomy at Mt John. A large number of people came up for our open day at the observatory and the chance to talk to astronomers, including Karen Pollard, Alan Gilmore and Pam Kilmartin. Unfortunately the strong NW winds later in the afternoon curtailed this event somewhat, but most still had a good time.

Many people contributed to the success of the Festival which probably attracted over 300 people to Tekapo and contributed significantly to the local economy. I especially wish to thank Sharlene Mullen for her tireless efforts on the website, on-line ticket sales and answering queries by email and on the phone for at least six months before the event. Margaret Austin (former cabinet minister and ardent Dark Sky Reserve supporter on our Reserve Board) helped raise much of the funding for the event. Overall the Festival can be judged to have been a considerable success; it showcased UC observational astronomy and helped raise the public profile of astronomy at Canterbury.

-- John Hearnshaw

10. Major Star Atlases Up for Grabs

The Carter Observatory is disposing of its collection of ESO/SRC and National Geographic Mt Palomar star atlases. These are photographic atlases obtained with the 1.2-metre Schmidt cameras at the European Southern Observatory in Chile, the Anglo-Australian Observatory (funded by the UK Science Research Council) in Australia and the Mt Palomar Observatory in California. The Carter Observatory is also disposing a cabinet-full of the Carte Photographique Du Ciel 1900 atlas.

The ESO/SRC film atlases cover the declination range 0 to -90. The film copies are 11 X 14 inches. The Mt Palomar-National Geographic photographic atlas prints cover -30 to +90. This collection is contained in three steel 3-draw filing cabinets each 1600H x 800D x 500W mm in good condition.

The Carte Photographique Du Ciel paper charts cover the declination range -16 to +24. They are contained in an old wooden 3-draw filing cabinet 1460H x 750D x 500W mm in good condition.

These cabinets containing the above charts are FREE to a good home. The removal and cartage cost would be the responsibility of the new owner. For more information contact Carter Observatory's Gordon Hudson at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

11. Has Anyone Got a Telescope for Loan/Lease?

My Meade 12-inch LX200GPS is playing up and I need to send it away for repairs. Is there anyone who would be willing to loan/lease me something about this size for up to 3 months. It doesn't have to be computerised or motor driven. The telescope would be housed in my roll-off roof observatory and well cared for. It would be used for visual variable star work. Preferably upper half of the North Island as I live in Kaitaia. If you are able to help, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 027 520 3434. Thanks. PS. I am getting withdrawal symptoms already.

-- Stephen Hovell

12. 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..


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