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. Meteorite Misses Skydiver
2. Notice of RASNZ AGM
3. The Solar System in May
4. RASNZ Conference 2014 in Whakatane
5. RASNZ Conference -- Call for Papers
6. NZ Rocketry Challenge 2014
7. RSAA Winter School -- 14-20 July
8. Herbert Astronomy Weekend - August 22-25
9. Space Camp NZ -- September 19-21
10. Solar Superstorm Missed Earth
11. Jean Texereau (1919-2014)
12. Smart LED Street Lighting
13. How to Join the RASNZ
14. Gifford-Eiby Lecture Fund
15. Quote

1. Meteorite Misses Skydiver

 

Norwegian sky diver Anders Helstrup was narrowly missed by a meteorite during a jump. Though he didn't notice it at the time the object was recorded on his helmet camera. He remarked "I got the feeling that there was something, but I didn't register what was happening."

He was amazed and eventually took the film to the University of Oslo. The scientists there confirmed that, indeed, it was a meteorite plunging into Earth at terminal velocity, a stage called dark flight.

According to geologist Hans Amundsen - of the Natural History Museum in Oslo - this is the first ever film of a meteorite falling through its dark flight stage. During this phase, the meteorite "no longer travels at an angle, but falls straight down." According to Amundsen, who initially was very sceptical about its nature, it can't be anything else. "The shape is typical of meteorites - a fresh fracture surface on one side, while the other side is rounded." He believes that "the meteorite had been part of a larger stone that had exploded perhaps 20 kilometres above Helstrup."

The brick-sized meteorite has not been found in ground searches.

See the news item and helmet camera footage at http://www.stuff.co.nz/science/9905738/Skydiver-almost-hit-by-meteorite

-- Thanks to Pam Kilmartin for pointing out this news item.

2. Notice of RASNZ AGM

The 91st Annual General Meeting of the Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand will be held at 4pm on Saturday 7 June 2014 at the Whakatane War Memorial Hall. Notices of motion are invited and should reach the Executive Secretary six weeks in advance of the meeting, by April 27 2014. They should be sent to:

Rory O'Keeffe Secretary 662 Onewhero-Tuakau Bridge Rd or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. RD2, TUAKAU 2697

3. The Solar System in May

All dates and times are NZST (UT +12 hours) unless otherwise specified. Rise and set times are for Wellington. They will vary by a few minutes elsewhere in NZ.

The Sun rises at 7.05 am and sets at 5.30 pm on May 1. By May 31 the times are 7.33 am and 5.03 pm respectively.

Phases of the moon (times as shown by guide)

First quarter: May  7 at  3.15 pm (        03:15 UT)
Full moon:     May 15 at  7.16 am (May 14, 19:16 UT)
Last quarter   May 22 at 12.59 am (May 21, 12:59 UT)
New moon:      May 29 at  6.40 am (May 28, 18:40 UT)

An occultation of Saturn by the moon occurs on the night of May 14/15, a few hours before full moon. Despite the brightness of the moon, the occultation should be visible in a small telescope.

The occultation is visible from all parts of New Zealand and from Australia except the north east. A grazing occultation is visible from a little north of Brisbane. The graze path passes just north of NZ´s North Cape.

Times of mid occultation for some places in NZ are:

            Disappear  Reappear  Duration
Auckland     11:52:59   12:38:51  +/- 44s
Wellington   11:45:46   12:51:45  +/- 29s
Christchurch 11:40:05   12:54:54  +/- 25s
Dunedin      11:36:15   12:51:09  +/- 23s

The duration gives the time taken by Saturn´s disk to move behind the moon. Double these figures to obtain the approximate times for the start/end of the occultation of the rings. More details of the events can be obtained from Dave Herald´s Occult.

THE PLANETS IN MAY Saturn is at opposition on the night of May 10/11 so will be visible in the evening sky. Jupiter is in the early evening sky setting mid evening. Mars is visible all evening. Venus is in the morning sky.

Mercury is in the early evening sky, but will set less than 30 minutes after the Sun early in the month. By the end of May it will set a little more than an hour after the Sun. By the time the Sun has sunk to 10° below the horizon on the 31st, Mercury, at magnitude 1.2, will be about 3° above the horizon, so very difficult to see. On the 31st a very thin crescent moon will be 8° above Mercury.

Venus remains prominent in the morning sky although it begins to rise a little later, about 4.20am at the end of May. This is still more than 3 hours before the Sun. The planet is in Pisces all month except for 3 days mid month when it crosses an indented corner of Cetus

On the morning of May 16 Venus will be just over 1° from Uranus, with the latter to the lower left of Venus. At magnitude 5.9, Uranus will be the only bright object in the same binocular field as Venus. The previous morning Venus will be just under 2° above Uranus while on the morning of the 17th the planets will be 1.5° apart with Uranus to the left of and a little higher than Venus.

On May 25, the 9% lit crescent moon will be just under 4° below Venus.

Mars was at opposition on April 8 so will remain readily visible in the evening sky all May. As the Earth moves away from Mars, the latter will dim a little, but by the end of May it will still be magnitude -0.5. The planet is in Virgo a few degrees from Spica all month. Mars reaches a stationary point in its orbit on the 21st, so its position will not change greatly during May. The 87% lit moon will be a little less than 3° from Mars on May 11.

Jupiter will be easily seen, if rather low, early in May evenings. By the 31st it will set close to 8pm. Being well north of the equator it is low in southern skies, so best looked for shortly after sunset. The planet is in Gemini about 10° from the star Pollux. The 24% lit crescent moon will be just under 6° from Jupiter on the evening of May 4.

Saturn is at opposition on May 11 so will then be rising about the time of sunset and setting close to sunrise. The planet will then be 1331 million km (8.90 AU) from the Earth. The angular diameter of the disk will be 18.7 arc- seconds, with the rings just over twice that at 40 arc-seconds. The tilt of the north pole is 21.7 degrees towards the Earth making the rings easily visible in a small telescope.

By the end of May Saturn rises about an hour before the sun sets, so will be already visible to the east as the sky darkens.

The almost full moon will occult Saturn near midnight on May 14/15. The times at which Saturn disappears behind the moon and reappears again the other side of the moon are given above for a few locations. The moon´s limb will take about 45 seconds to move over the disk of Saturn as seen from the south of NZ. The time gets longer further north in the country reaching about 90 seconds in Auckland. The time for the ring system to be covered or uncovered is rather more than twice that of the planet´s disk.

Saturn remains in Libra during May fairly close to alpha Lib and beta Lib. Its changing position relative to the two stars will be detectable during the month.

OUTER PLANETS Uranus and Neptune are both in the morning sky. On May 1 Uranus rises at 4.50 am, Neptune about 3 hours earlier. The Sun rises just after 7.00 am. So Uranus will be at a moderate altitude an hour before sunrise. By May 31 the times are 3 am for Uranus, just before midnight for Neptune and 7.33 am for the Sun.

Uranus is in Pisces during May where it is in conjunction with Venus mid month. Neptune is in Aquarius.

BRIGHTER ASTEROIDS: (1) Ceres and (4) Vesta remain a close pair of asteroids throughout May, no more than 2.5° apart in Virgo, so easily in the same binocular field. In the evening the two asteroids form a roughly equilateral triangle with Mars and Spica. Each side of the triangle will subtend an angle of some 13° or so. As seen in the evening, the triangle is inverted with Mars and Spica forming the base and the two asteroids at the lower apex.

The two asteroids were at opposition just after Mars in April, so they will fade a little during May, from magnitude 6.0 to 6.6 in the case of Vesta and 7.2 to 7.9 for Ceres.

(2) Pallas is also an evening object rising some 3 hours before Ceres and Vesta. It is in Leo, near Regulus. Pallas´s path takes it within 1.3° of the star on May 13th when the asteroid at magnitude 8.6 will be almost directly below Regulus. By the end of May Pallas will have faded to 8.9 and be 5.5° to the right of the star.

-- Brian Loader

4. RASNZ Conference 2014 in Whakatane

The organisers look forward to meeting with friends old and new at this year's RASNZ conference. Planning is well under way for a great time in Whakatane. Here is some advance information which you may find useful.

Contents:

4.1. Conference Start and End Times; timetable
4.2. Have you booked your accommodation?
4.3. Buses and Shuttles
4.4. Friday 6th June - Afternoon Tour 12:30pm to 4pm
4.5. Conference Dinner Saturday 7th June 7:30pm
4.6. For those interested in a White Island Tour

For further information please also see the RASNZ Conference Wiki <www.rasnz.org.nz/wiki/doku.php?id=conference:start>

4.1. Conference Start and End Times, timetable.

The Conference will open at 7:30pm Friday 6th June. It is likely to end on Sunday 8th June about 3pm or later if we have sufficient offers for papers and presentations.

A tentative conference timetable has been placed on the RASNZ Wiki Conference pages <http://www.rasnz.org.nz/wiki/doku.php?id=conference:timetable>. You can also see details of some of the papers offered on the RASNZ Wiki at <http://www.rasnz.org.nz/wiki/doku.php?id=conference:papers>. Both these pages will be updated as more information becomes available.

Please see the item in this news letter regarding submissions to present a paper.

4.2. Have you booked your accommodation?

The venue does not provide accommodation but there are a number of motels within a few minutes walking distance. Jono Walker of the LOC points out that accommodation is being booked rapidly and advises making a reservation ASAP.

AMBER COURT MOTEL 22 Valley Road Ph: 0800 262 377 www.amber-court.co.nz: $125.00 per night; 5 minute walk to venue

ALTON LODGE MOTEL 76 Domain Road Ph: 0800 425 866 www.altonlodge.co.nz: 10 minute walk to venue; when booking mention coming to RASNZ Conference for a discount

WHAKATANE HOTEL / BACKPACKERS The Strand Ph: 07 307 1670 www.whakatanehotel.co.nz

NauMai Motel Landing Road, from $87/night Ph: 0800 802 883 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Web: www.naumai.co.nz

Whale Island Suite are offering luxury apartments for up to 4 people for $220/night. For more information please go to http://www.whaleislandsuite.co.nz/

For More Accommodation Options: please visit these websites http://www.whakatane.com/ and http://www.whakatane.info/

4.3. Buses and Shuttles

Intercity Coachlines www.intercity.co.nz. Depart Rotorua Airport 2:23pm arrive Whakatane 3:36pm Depart Whakatane 11:15am arrive Rotorua Airport 12:39pm

Naked Bus www.nakedbus.com/nz/bus/ Depart Rotorua Airport 12:40pm arrive Whakatane 2:05pm Depart Whakatane 10:00am arrive Rotorua Airport 11:25am

Baybus www.baybus.co.nz Depart Tauranga CBD 2:05pm arrive Whakatane 3:50pm Depart Whakatane, Quay Street 9:15am arrive Tauranga CBD 11:05am

Shuttle Service in Whakatane - JNP Transport Service Phone 0800 872 555 or http://www.whakatane.info/business/jnp-transport-services-airport-shuttle Rates: Airport to Motel $30 per trip plus $5 per person Motel to Venue $25 per trip - fill the van by sharing up to 11 people to cut costs.

4.4. Friday 6th June - Afternoon Tour 12:30pm to 4pm

A bus trip to Celestial wines, Whakatane Observatory and Scenery lookout. Cost $30 per person. If you wish to attend this tour please contact Nichola, the Whakatane secretary, by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The $30 fare is to be deposited into account 03 0490 0204427 00. Please make sure you include your name as reference.

4.5. Conference Dinner Saturday 7th June 7:30pm

As this year's Conference celebrates Whakatane astronomical Society's 50th Anniversary the dinner theme will be 1964. So bring out that old suit or dress from the 1960's. And make sure you know something about that year.

4.6. For those interested in a White Island Tour

Tours to White Island take at least 6 hours. If you are interested in a White Island trip we suggest you visit http://www.whiteisland.co.nz/ and make your own arrangements for a trip either prior to the start of the conference or for a day following the conference and Symposium.

-- Brian Loader

5. RASNZ Conference -- Call for Papers

Dear Friends, Colleagues,

It is a pleasure to announce that the Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand conference 2014 will be held in Whakatane, 6-8 June at the Whakatane War Memorial Hall.

For further information on the conference and registration please visit the website at www.rasnz.org.nz <http://www.rasnz.org.nz>

The RASNZ standing conference committee sincerely invites and encourages anyone interested in New Zealand Astronomy to submit papers, with titles and Abstracts due *1st May*. The link to the paper submission form can be found on the RASNZ website www.rasnz.org.nz <http://www.rasnz.org.nz>, or you can go to the RASNZ wiki www.rasnz.org.nz/wiki <http://www.rasnz.org.nz/wiki>. Even if you are just thinking of presenting a paper please submit the form, and we can follow up with you at a later date.

On the Monday 9th June, following Conference there will be an Variable Star South Workshop at the Whakatane REAP Centre.

Our guest speaker is Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, DBE, FRS, FRAS who will speak about "Transient astronomy - bursts, bangs and things that go bump in the night".

The Fellows Lecture for 2014 will be delivered by Professor Phil Yock speaking on "From Particles to Planets".

We look forward to receiving your submission and seeing you at conference.

Please feel free to forward this message to anyone who may find this of interest.

-- Dr Orlon Petterson, RASNZ Standing Conference Committee

6. NZ Rocketry Challenge 2014

Gerry Munden writes: Registrations are now open for the 2014 NZ Rocketry Challenge - designed to provide Year 7 and 8 students a realistic experience in designing a flying aerospace vehicle that meets a specified set of mission and performance requirements.

The Challenge: Students are tasked to design and build a safe and stable model rocket and use it to safely lift a fragile payload (one raw hen's egg) to an altitude of exactly 150 metres, then to return the payload safely and undamaged.

NEW FORMAT FOR 2014: The Challenge has been updated for 2014 to make it easier for schools all around the country to participate: You can fly in your own school, at a time that suits - but still compete against other teams in a national leader board, and optionally coordinate local school fly-offs.

Rocket kits and other resources are available, or you can build your own from scratch - and digital altimeters can be cheaply rented for your competition flights.

The NZ Rocketry Challenge is a great platform for students to apply maths, physics, teamwork and much more in a hands-on creative activity. Will your school be on the leader board?

For more information and contest rules visit: www.rocketcontest.org.nz. Register by 17 April; fly and submit results by 19 May.

AEROSPACE EDUCATION +64 9 624 3091 Box 13 368 +64 27 4 932 766 Onehunga Auckland 1643 www.aerospaceeducation.co.nz

7. RSAA Winter School -- 14-20 July

The Research School of Astronomy & Astrophysics (RSAA), ANU College of Physical & Mathematical Sciences, advises that applications are now open for the 2014 RSAA Winter School. Travel bursaries are available to students at all Australian and New Zealand universities. Please distribute to 3rd year (and exceptional 2nd year) undergraduate Astronomy students.

When 14-20 July 2014. Location Mt Stromlo and Siding Spring Observatories. Cost Free for selected participants. Travel scholarships available. Research School of Astronomy & Astrophysics ANU College of Physical & Mathematical Sciences

Come and participate in exciting science at the ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics (RSAA) Winter School, where you´ll have the opportunity to experience cutting edge research and take part in scientific observations on some of Australia´s most advanced telescopes.

The Winter School will be held over seven action packed days and includes real astrophysical investigations, special presentations from leading researchers, exclusive night time access at research telescopes and participating in scientific observations. Participants will travel to Australia´s premier optical and radio astronomical observatories and will have the opportunity carry out their own observations on the ANU 2.3m telescope.

The Winter School includes: Learn about stellar physics, planetary science, black holes & cosmology Telescope tours including a VIP visit of Australia´s largest optical telescope The chance to accompany astrophysicists during scientific observations Advice on coursework options, internships and scholarships.

Application close 30 May 2014. For application details contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

-- Brad E. Tucker, circulated by the Astronomical Society of Australia.

8. Herbert Astronomy Weekend - August 22-25

The Herbert Astronomy Weekend, at Camp Iona, south of Oamaru, is on August 22nd-25th. For map and registration see http://www.treesandstars.com/herbert/. Other details later.

-- from a note by Euan Mason

9. Space Camp NZ -- September 19-21

Space Camp NZ 2014 at Raincliff Youth Camp, South Canterbury, 19th to 21st September 2014

Speakers, workshops, solar & night sky observing. Activities for beginners to the more experienced astronomer.

All meals are BYO, except for Saturday evening which is a pot luck meal, details of what to bring based on numbers will be made available closer to the time.

The featured speaker is Dr Joe Liske, a staff astronomer at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Germany. Having obtained his PhD in Sydney, Australia, he was a researcher at the Universities of St Andrews and Edinburgh in Scotland before joining the European Southern Observatory in 2003. He now spends half of his time trying to understand how galaxies like our own Milky Way formed, while the other is dedicated to the science of the European Extremely Large Telescope project. Joe will be telling us about his work at ESO, and about the world´s biggest telescope, the European Extremely Large Telescope, and what we hope to find out with it.

Other speakers will be Warren Keller, astronomer and world renowned astro photographer. Dr Pamela Gay, astronomer, educator, writer and podcaster focused on using new media to engage people. Stephen Chadwick, astro photographer and author. John Whitby, astronomer of Live View Observing. John specialises in video astronomy. Peter Aldous, amateur astronomer, supernova hunter. Peter has been involved in astronomy for over 40 years Robert McTague, amateur astronomer and full time professional photographer.

For details see http://spacecampnz.scastro.org.nz/

-- From the above webpage.

10. Solar Superstorm Missed Earth

 

Earth dodged a huge magnetic bullet from the sun on July 23, 2012, when a rapid succession of coronal mass ejections - the most intense eruptions on the sun - sent a pulse of magnetized plasma barrelling into space and through Earth's orbit. Had the eruption come nine days earlier, it would have hit Earth, potentially wreaking havoc with electrical grids, disabling satellites and GPS, and disrupting our increasingly electronic lives.

The solar bursts would have enveloped Earth in magnetic fireworks matching the largest magnetic storm ever reported on Earth, the so-called Carrington event of 1859. The dominant mode of communication at that time, the telegraph system, was knocked out across the United States, literally shocking telegraph operators. Meanwhile, the Northern Lights lit up the night sky as far south as Hawaii.

In a paper in Nature Communications of March 18 former and current University of California Berkeley researchers reported their analysis of the magnetic storm, which was detected by NASA's STEREO A spacecraft.

"Had it hit Earth, it probably would have been like the big one in 1859, but the effect today, with our modern technologies, would have been tremendous," said Janet G. Luhmann, who is part of the STEREO (Solar Terrestrial Observatory) team and based at UC Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory.

A study last year estimated that the cost of a solar storm like the Carrington Event could reach $2.6 trillion worldwide. A considerably smaller event on March 13, 1989, led to the collapse of Canada¹s Hydro-Quebec power grid and a resulting loss of electricity to six million people for up to nine hours.

"An extreme space weather storm - a solar superstorm - is a low-probability, high-consequence event that poses severe threats to critical infrastructures of the modern society," warned Ying D. Liu, of the National Space Science Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. "The cost of an extreme space weather event, if it hits Earth, could reach trillions of dollars with a potential recovery time of 4-10 years. Therefore, it is paramount to the security and economic interest of the modern society to understand solar superstorms."

Based on their analysis of the 2012 event, Liu, Luhmann and their STEREO colleagues concluded that a huge outburst on the sun on July 22 propelled a magnetic cloud through the solar wind at a peak speed of more than 2,000 km per second - four times the typical speed of a magnetic storm. It tore through Earth's orbit but, luckily, Earth and the other planets were on the other side of the sun at the time. Any planets in the line of sight would have suffered severe magnetic storms as the magnetic field of the outburst tangled with the planets' own magnetic fields.

The researchers determined that the huge outburst resulted from at least two nearly simultaneous coronal mass ejections (CMEs), which typically release energies equivalent to that of about a billion hydrogen bombs. The speed with which the magnetic cloud ploughed through the solar wind was so high, they concluded, because another mass ejection four days earlier had cleared the path of material that would have slowed it down.

One reason the event was potentially so dangerous, aside from its high speed, is that it produced a very long-duration, southward-oriented magnetic field, Luhmann said. This orientation drives the largest magnetic storms when they hit Earth because the southward field merges violently with Earth's northward field in a process called reconnection. Storms that normally might dump their energy only at the poles instead dump it into the radiation belts, ionosphere and upper atmosphere and create auroras down to the tropics.

All this activity would have been missed if STEREO A - the STEREO spacecraft ahead of us in Earth's orbit and the twin to STEREO B, which trails in our orbit - had not been there to record the blast.

The goal of STEREO and other satellites probing the magnetic fields of the sun and Earth is to understand how and why the sun sends out these large solar storms and to be able to predict them during the sun's 11-year solar cycle. This event was particularly unusual because it happened during a very calm solar period.

"Observations of solar superstorms have been extremely lacking and limited, and our current understanding of solar superstorms is very poor," Liu said. "Questions fundamental to solar physics and space weather, such as how extreme events form and evolve and how severe it can be at the Earth, are not addressed because of the extreme lack of observations."

For more information and movies see http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/stereo/news/fast-cme.html

-- From a University of California press release forwarded by Larry Marschall.

11. Jean Texereau (1919-2014)

Just three days after his 95th birthday, Jean Texereau -- France's doyen of optical fabrication -- passed away on 6 February. For half a century Texereau made, refigured, or tested optics for large telescopes. He also promoted amateur telescope making through the Société Astronomique de France.

But his enduring gift to "glass pushers" around the world was his book "La Construction du Télescope d'Amateur", which first appeared in 1951. An English edition, titled "How to Make a Telescope", followed six years later. Compared with the American mirror-making books of the 1950s, Texereau's was more sure-footed in its discussion of the diffraction effects in telescopes. The technique he described for evaluating a mirror's figure was a significant advance, mathematically, over those used elsewhere. A subsequent, expanded edition was greatly sought after -- before it came back into print in 1984, copies were selling for $1,000 on the second-hand book market.

Texereau's first telescopes were homemade 10- and 20-inch (25- and 51-cm) reflectors. Then in 1946, astronomer Gerard de Vaucouleurs introduced him to André Couder of Paris Observatory. Couder, who headed the optics laboratory there, promptly hired Texereau to be his right-hand man. Among Texereau's projects at the observatory were making the optics of a 24-inch(61 cm) Cassegrain reflector for Meudon Observatory and work on the primary mirrors of the 76-inch (193 cm) reflector at Haute-Provence Observatory and the 42- inch (107 cm) reflector at Pic du Midi.

In 1964 Texereau was invited to McDonald Observatory in Texas to see what could be done about the soft star images of the 82-inch (208cm) reflector. That summer he performed 17 daily figuring steps on the 28-inch (71 cm) secondary mirror, and after each step he put the uncoated mirror back on the telescope for star tests each night. Before Texereau's arrival, the overall wavefront error had exceeded one wavelength of light. By the time he left, this error had been reduced to just 1/8 wave.

-- Roger W. Sinnott in "Sky & Telescope" May 2014, p.14.

12. Smart LED Street Lighting

The city of Eindhoven plans to introduce an LED lighting system in which each individual light can be controlled individually. That means that a street light can switch on and off depending on how busy the street is: if nobody is there, they dim, but as soon as a car, bike or pedestrian approaches, they turn themselves on and accompany the vehicle or person on his way.

LED street lights, already in use in several dozen cities around the world, though in a less innovative fashion than in Eindhoven, save energy costs compared to regular street lights, though the up-front cost is more expensive. Of course, having street lights that automatically switch themselves off when the street is empty further reduces costs and CO2 emissions.

Tvilight, a startup based in the Dutch university city of Groningen, offers similar light systems with dimming lights that turn themselves on as residents move about. They're now being implemented in German, Irish and Dutch cities.

European and American cities are usually quite empty after 10pm, yet providing light to those on them remains essential for security. Both in Eindhoven's new initiative and in the cities working with Tvilight, the street lights provide a small glow to empty streets, giving residents the feeling that the street is fully illuminated, while in reality the lights only turn on fully as a person approaches.

The setup also means the street light can be adapted to fit the weather, even flashing red to warn residents of approaching storms or floods. But they can also be remotely adjusted - using wireless technology - down to areas as small as a street or a corner of a city square in order to provide a particular ambience to that area.

For more see http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/sustainable-smart-lighting-systems-cities

-- Abridged from the above article in The Guardian of 12 March. Thanks to Rose McDermott for passing on the link.

13. How to Join the RASNZ

A membership application form and details can be found on the RASNZ Website http://rasnz.pdj/RASNZInfo/Membership/ 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..

14. 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

15. Quote

"Although deniers of climate change often argue that life on earth routinely adapted to environmental shifts in the past and can thus handle future fluctuations, this is the wrong way think about our current situation. Human activities are altering ocean conditions at a speed unsurpassed in our earth's history. We are thus unwittingly conducting an experiment that has never been run on this planet, the exact outcome of which will not be known until it has occurred."

-- Ronald Martin and Antonietta Quigg in Scientific American, June 2013, p.37.


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