RASNZ Electronic Newsletter June 2016

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. The latest issue is below.

Email Newsletter Number 186

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.


1. Second Gravity Wave Event Detected
2. 2016 Conference Notes
3. Horowhenua StellarFest July 29-31
4. Earth and Sky Bright Star Award
5. The Solar System in July
6. Auckland University Joins LSST
7. RASNZ Astrophotography Competition Results
8. Using RGB filters on Cameras for BVR photometry
9. LISA Pathfinder Successful
10. Small Asteroid is Earth's Constant Companion
11. 2017 Eclipse Tour
12. Sirius Observatories Special Offer
13. How to Join the RASNZ
14. Kingdon-Tomlinson Fund
15. Gifford-Eiby Lecture Fund

1. Second Gravity Wave Detection

On 26 December 2015 at 03:38:53 UTC, scientists observed gravitational waves -- ripples in the fabric of spacetime -- for the second time.

The gravitational waves were detected by both of the twin Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors, located in Livingston, Louisiana, and Hanford, Washington, USA.

Gravitational waves carry information about their origins and about the nature of gravity that cannot otherwise be obtained. Physicists have concluded that these gravitational waves were produced during the final moments of the merger of two black holes -- 14 and 8 times the mass of the Sun -- to produce a single, more massive spinning black hole that is 21 times the mass of the sun.

It was significant that these black holes were much less massive than those observed in the first detection. Because of their lighter masses compared to the first detection, they spent more time -- about one second -- in the sensitive band of the detectors. It is a promising start to mapping the populations of black holes in the universe.

During the merger, which occurred approximately 1.4 billion years ago, a quantity of energy roughly equivalent to the mass of the Sun was converted into gravitational waves. The detected signal comes from the last 27 orbits of the black holes before their merger. Based on the arrival time of the signals -- with the Livingston detector measuring the waves 1.1 milliseconds before the Hanford detector -- the position of the source in the sky can be roughly determined.

In the near future, Virgo, the European interferometer, will join a growing network of gravitational wave detectors, which work together with ground-based telescopes that follow-up on the signals. The three interferometers together will permit a far better localization in the sky of the signals.

The first detection of gravitational waves, announced on 11 February 2016, was a milestone in physics and astronomy; it confirmed a major prediction of Albert Einstein's 1915 general theory of relativity, and marked the beginning of the new field of gravitational-wave astronomy.

With detections of two strong events in the four months of the first observing run, LIGO scientists can begin to make predictions about how often gravitational waves might be detected in the future. Such waves provide a new way to observe some of the darkest yet most energetic events in our universe.

Both discoveries were made possible by the enhanced capabilities of Advanced LIGO, a major upgrade that increases the sensitivity of the instruments compared to the first generation LIGO detectors, enabling a large increase in the volume of the universe probed.

Advanced LIGO's next data-taking run will begin in the northern autumn. By then, further improvements in detector sensitivity are expected to allow LIGO to reach as much as 1.5 to 2 times more of the volume of the universe. The Virgo detector is expected to join in the latter half of the upcoming observing run.

The LIGO Observatories are funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), and were conceived, built, and are operated by Caltech and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The discovery, accepted for publication in the journal Physical Review Letters, was made by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration which includes the GEO Collaboration and the Australian Consortium for Interferometric Gravitational Astronomy and the Virgo Collaboration using data from the two LIGO detectors.

"With the advent of Advanced LIGO, we anticipated researchers would eventually succeed at detecting unexpected phenomena, but these two detections thus far have surpassed our expectations," says NSF Director France A. Córdova. "NSF's 40-year investment in this foundational research is already yielding new information about the nature of the dark universe."

For original text & images see: http://news.mit.edu/ and http://www.ligo.org/

-- From a Massachusetts Institute of Technology press release forwarded by Karen Pollard.

2. 2016 Conference Notes

President John Drummond gave a summary of the Conference in 'Keeping in Touch' #17. The following is adapted from John's article.

The conference was run very smoothly and Napier's Museum Theatre Gallery venue was superb. The amphitheatre-shaped lecture theatre provided an excellent vantage point from every seat for the talks, which covered a wide-range of astronomical topics and varied in depth. All presenters spoke exceptionally well and kept the audience captivated.

The Fellows´ lecture was presented by Brian Loader who spoke about `Pluto, 2015 June 29´.

Of note were the number of young speakers this year. This is primarily thanks to Immediate-Past-President John Hearnshaw´s SWAPA (Students With A Passion for Astronomy) programme that he initiated under his presidency. With this focus of endearing young people to attend and contribute to conferences and the RASNZ as a whole, the future of New Zealand astronomy and the Society is looking bright indeed!

The new RASNZ committee took office on Saturday 21st May after the AGM at the conference. They are: President: John Drummond (Gisborne) Vice President: Nick Rattenbury (Auckland) Immediate Past President: John Hearnshaw (Christchurch) Treasurer: Simon Lowther (Pukekohe) Secretary: Nichola van der Aa (Whakatane) Councillors: Bob Evans (Invercargill, Steve Butler (Invercargill), Glen Rowe (Lower Hutt),Sergei Gulyaev (Auckland), Orlon Petterson (Christchurch). Affiliated Societies Representatives: Peter Jaquiery (Dunedin), Gary Sparks (Napier). Fellows´ Representative: Karen Pollard (Christchurch).

I would also like to thank the `retiring´ members of the previous RASNZ committee for the many hours of behind-the-scenes work and unrelenting commitment to New Zealand astronomy via RASNZ, namely Gordon Hudson (2012-14 President) and Rory O´Keefe (secretary for 6-years).

Jennie McCormick (MNZM) was welcomed as a fellow of the RASNZ at the conference. Society rules state that, `Fellowship of the Society shall be a distinction conferred upon members who have made notable contributions to either amateur or professional astronomy...´ (Rule 14). Jennie has made a number of significant contributions to New Zealand astronomy over the years, including the discovery of an asteroid (2009 SA1), contributing to the detection of 19 exoplanets by microlensing, being amongst lead authors in 29 journal papers including the prestigious journal, Science, and much more. Jennie now joins the ranks of 12 fellow fellows. Well done Jennie and thoroughly deserved!

Professor Gerry Gilmore had the status of Honorary Member of the Society conferred on him at the banquet. Gerry wasn´t in New Zealand to receive this award but the citation read by Professor John Hearnshaw made everyone proud that he is a Kiwi. His astronomical achievements are truly significant and of momentous note on the global scale. Gerry responded to a congratulatory email from Dr John Hearnshaw thus, "Very many thanks indeed for this unexpected but greatly appreciated honour. I remain proud of my New Zealand heritage, and appreciative of the excellent education I received. I am delighted that I have been able to contribute directly in a small way, and indirectly through my accent (!) to New Zealand astronomy, and very much value this recognition of mutual respect".

This year´s Murray Geddes prize was awarded to Dave Cochrane of KiwiStar Optics for his national and international contribution to optics. Of note is that he is heavily involved with the optics of the prime focus corrector for the William Herschel telescope, which includes a lens 1100 mm in diameter, one of the largest lenses ever made anywhere!

---------- Another member provided the following tributes and backgrounds.

2016 is the year for a change of leadership of RASNZ.

At the end of the Conference in May John Drummond took over as President. John is known throughout New Zealand for his passion for astronomical photography; he has run the Astrophotography Section for a number of years. He recently completed a M.Sc degree in Astronomy at Swinburne University, Melbourne, for interpretation of photographs of interacting galaxies. John is President of the Gisborne Astronomical Society.

The new vice-President (who will take over as President in 2018) is Nicholas (Nick) Rattenbury who is based in the Physics Dept, Faculty of Science, Auckland University. His main research interest is the detection of extra-solar planets through gravitational microlensing. Both John and Nicholas presented papers at the conference on their research. The new Secretary of the Society is Nichola van der Aa who belongs to the Whakatane Astronomical Society.

Grateful thanks were expressed at the Conference to two retiring officers. The out-going President John Hearnshaw has done much to set the Society up for the future. He developed a long-term plan for the society and was successful in introducing young people to the society by way of sponsorship for ten young people to attend last year´s and this year´s conferences through the SWAPA programme (Students with a Passion for Astronomy). He also superintended the very successful Mt John Observatory Jubilee Conference at Tekapo. At the Conference the RASNZ Secretary for the past six years, Rory O´Keefe, retired. Rory has done sterling work as Secretary keeping the mechanics of the Society running smoothly and efficiently.

3. Horowhenua StellarFest July 29-31

Steve Chadwick, President, Horowhenua Astronomical Society, writes:

This is just to let you know that our annual StellarFest is being held on the weekend 29th-31st July. Information and how to book can be found here: http://www.horoastronomy.org.nz/upcoming-events/stellarfest

We are still putting the programme together so please keep checking back for updates. For the best accommodation please book early.

4. Earth and Sky Bright Star Award

The Council of RASNZ is grateful to Earth & Sky Ltd at Lake Tekapo for instituting the annual Earth & Sky Bright Star award. The award will be made not more often than annually and at intervals of no more than five years.

The terms and conditions of the award are now incorporated into the Society´s bye-laws, and the purpose of the award is to recognize a person or persons for contributions in New Zealand in promoting astronomy to the public, or in astronomical education, or in promoting dark skies so as to allow astro-tourism to flourish.

There are therefore three distinct areas which can be recognized in making the award, namely outreach, education or dark skies protection.

The award shall consist of goods to be determined at the sole discretion of the Directors of Earth & Sky Ltd. The first award was made in 2015 (recipient John Hearnshaw) and consisted of an inscribed astronomical sextant.

Nominations for the award should be received by the RASNZ secretary at least two months before the Society´s Annual General Meeting in any year.

5. The Solar System in July

Dates and times shown are NZST (UT + 12 hours) unless otherwise stated.

Rise and set times are for Wellington. They will vary by a few minutes elsewhere in NZ.

Sunrise, sunset and twilight times in July

                            July  1  NZST                    July 31  NZST
                    morning  evening                 morning  evening
SUN:         rise: 7.44am,  set: 5.04pm     rise: 7.27am,  set: 5.27pm
 Civil:    starts: 7.16am, ends: 5.33pm   starts: 7.00am, ends: 5.55pm
 Nautical: starts: 6.42am, ends: 6.08pm   starts: 6.27am, ends: 6.28pm
 Astro:    starts: 6.08am, ends: 6.41pm   starts: 5.54am, ends: 7.01pm

July phases of the moon (times as shown by guide)

          New moon:      July  4 at 11.01 pm (11:01 UT)
  First quarter: July 12 at 12.52 pm (00:52 UT)
  Full moon:     July 20 at 10.57 am (July 19, 22:57 UT)
  Last quarter   July 27 at 11.00 am (July 26, 23:00 UT)

The planets in July

All five naked eye planets are visible during some part of the evening by late July. Mercury becomes easily visible in the early evening sky towards the end of the month. Venus will be lower Mercury from the second part of July. Mars remains prominent although fading a little while Jupiter gets lower to the east. Saturn will not be far from Mars.

MERCURY is at superior conjunction on July 7, when it will be 47 million km (0.314 AU) beyond the Sun and 199 million km (1.33 AU) from the Earth. Before conjunction Mercury will be too close to the Sun to observe, after conjunction it becomes an evening object setting after the Sun. By the end of July the planet will set nearly 2 hours later than the Sun. On the evenings of the 30th and 31st Mercury will be less than a degree from Regulus with Mercury at magnitude -0.1, 1.5 magnitudes brighter than Regulus. About an hour after sunset the two will be 7° up in a direction half way between west and northwest.

On July 16th, Mercury and Venus will be less than a degree apart. But the two planets will set only 45 minutes after the Sun, making observation difficult. At 5.30 with the Sun only 4° below the horizon, the planets will be a low 4° above it. Venus at magnitude -3.9 may be detectable, Mercury's magnitude being-1.1.

VENUS, in the very early evening sky will set less than half an hour after the Sun on the 1st and about 50 minutes after the Sun on the 31st. So it will be a very low object at best. Venus starts the month in Gemini, moves across Cancer between July 10 and 26 and ends the month in Leo heading towards Regulus.

MARS remains a prominent evening object although loses a little of its brightness during July as the Earth recedes from it. By the end of the month it will still be bright at magnitude -0.8.

The planet will be in Libra moving rather slowly to the east after being stationary at the end of June. By the end of July, Mars will be poised to cross into Scorpius, heading towards its rival Antares.

The moon passes Mars mid month, but the two do not get very close. They are about 10° apart on the nights of July 14 and 15.

JUPITER becomes an early evening object during July, setting just after 9pm on the 31st. It remains in Leo.

The 25% lit crescent moon will be just over 1° from Jupiter on July 9. An occultation of the planet is only visible from the Southern Ocean to the south of Australia and parts of Antarctica beyond.

SATURN is well paced for evening viewing during July, a bright object about 6° from Antares which it will outshine by nearly a magnitude. The colour of the two makes a contrast. The planet is in Ophiuchus moving slowly in a retrograde sense to the west.

The 87% lit moon will be just under 4° from Saturn on the evening of July 16.

Outer planets

URANUS, at magnitude 5.9, is a morning object in Pisces although it will rise just before midnight by the end of July. It is stationary on the 30th, with its position changing only slightly during the month.

NEPTUNE rises near 10 pm at the beginning of the month advancing to 8am by the month's end. The planet, at magnitude 7.9, is in Aquarius and will be about half a degree from the 3.7 magnitude star lambda Aqr. In the mid to late evening Neptune will be to the right of the star early in the month gradually moving up to be at the star's upper right by the end of the month. There are no stars as bright as Neptune between them to cause confusion.

PLUTO at magnitude 14.3 is also in evening sky during July. The planet remains in Sagittarius. It moves away from the 2.9 magnitude star pi Sgr during July, starting only 8 arc-minutes from the star on the 1st, the distance increasing to almost a degree by the 31st.

Minor planets

(1) Ceres, is in Cetus during July moving to the east. It brightens slightly through the month, from 9.2 to 8.9. It rises at 1.30 am on the 1st and close to midnight on the 31st.

(4) Vesta rises 100 minutes before the Sun on July 1 and just after 5 am on the 31st. Starting the month in Taurus, Vesta will be less than half a degree from the magnitude 3 star zeta Tau on the morning of the 14th. On the 21st the asteroid will cross into Orion.

-- Brian Loader

6. Auckland University Joins LSST

Scientists from the University of Auckland are joining one of the most ambitious astronomy projects ever undertaken, as they sign up to the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) project.

"We see this as potentially the most important astronomy project New Zealand has ever been involved with and we are extremely excited to be part of it," says University of Auckland Head of Physics Professor Richard Easther.

Equipped with the world´s largest digital camera at 3,200-megapixels, the LSST is a purpose-built telescope that will take repeated snapshots of the southern sky, each one the size of 40 full moons. Over its 10- year lifespan, the data generated by the project will be measured in petabytes (one quadrillion bytes) and will be analysed by teams of astronomers around the world.

The telescope will map tens of billions of stars and galaxies, imaging most of the Southern Sky every few days. Using this data, scientists can find objects as far away as exploding supernovae at the edge of the visible Universe, to asteroids that can potentially collide with the Earth.

Auckland scientists will use data from the LSST to find planets circling other stars, test theories of the origin and evolution of the Universe, and to search for entirely new classes of astronomical objects.

Professor Easther says that the LSST is an opportunity to participate in a project at the frontier of modern science. Beyond astronomy, making sense of the data delivered by the LSST will drive advances in statistics and machine learning, key components of the emerging field of "big data", and create a wealth of opportunities for Auckland students.

Moreover, the University´s agreement with the LSST consortium will allow other New Zealand astronomers to join the project, making this effectively a national opportunity.

The LSST is a joint US/Chile project supported by the US National Science Foundation. It is located in Cerro Pachon in northern Chile and is expected to see "first light" in 2019 and be fully operational in 2021.

-- Press release by Richard Easther, Department of Physics, University of Auckland.

7. RASNZ Astrophotography Competition Results

Placings for the 2016 competition were:

Section 1st 2nd 3rd Picturesque Amit Kamble Greg Stevens Jonathan Green Deep Sky Amit Kamble Paul Stewart Stefan Krivan Solar System Paul Stewart Maurice Collins Shaun Fletcher Scientific Paul Stewart Jim McAloon Shaun Fletcher

8. Using RGB filters on Cameras for BVR photometry

I did this as an experiment back about 2000 but I don't observe much these days. But perhaps some of the astrophotographers would like a change from deep sky imaging on occasion. The idea is to measure the colour of a star, either by using B-V or less reliably, V-R.

The methods are discussed on the Variable Stars South (VSS) website http://variablestarssouth.org/ under the tabs Resources; Technique Guides; DSLR Photometry Guide. Whilst this discusses DSLR work, many of the aspects are similar, but much simpler, with a CCD camera. You will finally derive a V magnitude which is the brightness of the star when you measure it plus a B-V colour which is closely related to temperature.

So why not try this idea. VSS projects are listed in the Research section as well as Projects. Assistance, and advice is easily available through our Google discussion group This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or directly from Stan Walker This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. There are many interesting but under-observed stars in the Southern Hemisphere such as the R CrB star, V854 Centauri, which may be in the early stages of another fading episode.

-- Stan Walker

9. LISA Pathfinder Successful

Last December the European Space Agency (ESA) launched the LISA Pathfinder mission to test the technology needed to build a space-based gravitational wave observatory. Results from only two months of science operations show that the full-scale Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) mission is possible.

In a paper published in Physical Review Letters, the LISA Pathfinder team show that the test masses are almost motionless with respect to each other, with a relative acceleration lower than ten millionths of a billionth of Earth´s gravity. The demonstration of the mission´s key technologies opens the door to the development of a large space observatory capable of detecting gravitational waves emanating from a wide range of exotic objects in the Universe.

Gravitational waves are oscillations in the fabric of spacetime, moving at the speed of light and caused by the acceleration of massive objects. They can be generated by supernovas, neutron star binaries spiralling around each other, and pairs of merging black holes. Even from these powerful objects, however, the fluctuations in spacetime are tiny by the time they arrive at Earth - smaller than 1 part in 100 billion billion.

Sophisticated technologies are needed to register such minuscule changes, and gravitational waves were directly detected for the first time only in September 2015 by the ground-based Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). This experiment saw the characteristic signal of two black holes, each with some 30 times the mass of the Sun, spiralling towards one another in the final 0.3 seconds before they coalesced to form a single, more massive object.

The signals seen by LIGO in 2015 have a frequency of around 100 Hz, but gravitational waves span a much broader spectrum. In particular, lower- frequency oscillations are produced by even more exotic events such as the mergers of supermassive black holes.

With masses of millions to billions of times that of the Sun, these giant black holes sit at the centres of massive galaxies. When two galaxies collide, these black holes eventually coalesce, releasing vast amounts of energy in the form of gravitational waves throughout the merger process, and peaking in the last few minutes. To detect these events and fully exploit the new field of gravitational astronomy, it is crucial to open access to gravitational waves at low frequencies between 0.1 mHz and 1 Hz, one cycle per 10,000 seconds to 1 per second.

This requires measuring tiny fluctuations in distance between objects placed millions of kilometres apart, something that can only be achieved in space, where an observatory would also be free of the seismic, thermal and terrestrial gravity noises that limit ground-based detectors. LISA Pathfinder was designed to demonstrate key technologies needed to build such an observatory.

A crucial aspect is placing two test masses in freefall, monitoring their relative positions as they move under the effect of gravity alone. Even in space this is very difficult, as several forces, including the solar wind and pressure from sunlight, continually disturb the cubes and the spacecraft.

To achieve this the LISA Pathfinder contains a pair of identical, 2 kg, 46 mm gold-platinum cubes, 38 cm apart. They fly, surrounded, but untouched, by a spacecraft whose job is to shield them from external influences, adjusting its position constantly to avoid hitting them.

The mission started operations on 1 March, with scientists performing a series of experiments on the test masses to measure and control all of the different aspects at play, and determine how still the masses really are.

The first two months of data show that, in the frequency range between 60 mHz and 1 Hz, LISA Pathfinder's precision is only limited by the sensing noise of the laser measurement system used to monitor the position and orientation of the cubes.

At lower frequencies of 1-60 mHz, control over the cubes is limited by gas molecules bouncing off them - a small number remain in the surrounding vacuum. This effect was seen reducing as more molecules were vented into space, and is expected to improve in the following months.

At even lower frequencies, below 1 mHz, the scientists measured a small centrifugal force acting on the cubes, from a combination of the shape of LISA Pathfinder´s orbit and to the effect of the noise in the signal of the startrackers used to orient it.

While this force slightly disturbs the cubes´ motion in LISA Pathfinder, it would not be an issue for a future space observatory, in which each test mass would be housed in its own spacecraft, and linked to the others over millions of kilometres via lasers.

At the precision reached by LISA Pathfinder, a full-scale gravitational wave observatory in space would be able to detect fluctuations caused by the mergers of supermassive black holes in galaxies anywhere in the Universe.

For the ESA press release got to http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/LISA_Pathfinder_exceeds_expectations

For the Physical Review Letters abstract see https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.231101

10. Small Asteroid is Earth's Constant Companion

A small asteroid has been discovered in an orbit around the sun that keeps it as a constant companion of Earth, and it will remain so for centuries to come.

As it orbits the sun, this new asteroid, designated 2016 HO3, appears to circle around Earth as well. It is too distant to be considered a true satellite of our planet, but it is the best and most stable example to date of a near-Earth companion, or "quasi-satellite."

"Since 2016 HO3 loops around our planet, but never ventures very far away as we both go around the sun, we refer to it as a quasi-satellite of Earth," said Paul Chodas, manager of NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object (NEO) Studies at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. "One other asteroid -- 2003 YN107 -- followed a similar orbital pattern for a while over 10 years ago, but it has since departed our vicinity.

This new asteroid is much more locked onto us. Our calculations indicate 2016 HO3 has been a stable quasi-satellite of Earth for almost a century, and it will continue to follow this pattern as Earth's companion for centuries to come."

In its yearly trek around the sun, asteroid 2016 HO3 spends about half of the time closer to the sun than Earth and passes ahead of our planet, and about half of the time farther away, causing it to fall behind. Its orbit ranges from 0.9 AU from the sun to 1.1 AU (Earth's average distance is 1 AU). The orbit is also tilted by 7.8 degrees, causing it to bob up and then down once each year through Earth's orbital plane. In effect, this small asteroid is caught in a game of leap frog with Earth that will last for hundreds of years.

The asteroid's orbit also undergoes a slow, back-and-forth twist over multiple decades. "The asteroid's loops around Earth drift a little ahead or behind from year to year, but when they drift too far forward or backward, Earth's gravity is just strong enough to reverse the drift and hold onto the asteroid so that it never wanders farther away than about 100 times the distance of the moon," said Chodas. "The same effect also prevents the asteroid from approaching much closer than about 38 times the distance of the moon. In effect, this small asteroid is caught in a little dance with Earth."

Asteroid 2016 HO3 was first spotted on 27 April 2016, by the Pan-STARRS 1 asteroid survey telescope on Haleakala, Hawaii, operated by the University of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy and funded by NASA's Planetary Defence Coordination Office. Pre-discovery observations have been identified back to 2004. The size of this object has not yet been firmly established, but it is likely to be between 40 and 100 metres.

For the original text and images see: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2016-154

For asteroid news and updates, follow AsteroidWatch on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/AsteroidWatch

-- From a Jet Propulsion Laboratory press release forwarded by Karen Pollard.

11. 2017 Eclipse Tour

Lou Pagano, Vice President of the Sutherland Astronomical Society Inc., Sydney, advises that they are organising a trip to the August 2017 total solar eclipse. They will be viewing in close proximity to Kansas City. For details see http://sasi.net.au/index.php/news/311-sasi-usa-total-solar-eclipse-tour-2017

12. Sirius Observatories Special Offer

A note from Sirius Observatories Australia Pty Ltd advises that, as part of their 30th birthday celebrations, they are offering a free High Wind Kit valued at over AUD$500.00 with every observatory purchased. Contact details are Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Website: www.siriusobservatories.com . Phone: +61 (0)7 3284 2111; Fax: +61 (0)7 3284 4827

13. How to Join the RASNZ

RASNZ membership is open to all individuals with an interest in astronomy in New Zealand. Information about the society and its objects can be found at http://rasnz.org.nz/rasnz/membership-benefits A membership form can be either obtained from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by completing the online application form found at http://rasnz.org.nz/rasnz/membership-application Basic membership for the 2016 year starts at $40 for an ordinary member, which includes an electronic subscription to our journal 'Southern Stars'.

14. 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. Applications are now invited for grants from the Kingdon-Tomlinson Fund. The application should reach the Secretary by 1 November 2016. 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. Nichola van der Aa, 32A Louvain Street, Whakatane 3120.

15. 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., Nichola van der Aa, 32A Louvain Street, Whakatane 3120.


"And thus Nature will be very conformable to her self and very simple, performing all the great Motions of the heavenly Bodies by the Attraction of Gravity which intercedes those Bodies, and almost all the small ones of their Particles by some other attractive and repelling Powers which intercede the Particles." -- Isaac Newton in Opticks. Fourth edition printed for William Innys at the Weft-End of St. Pauls, p. 398. (1730)

See the original at http://www.relativitycalculator.com/pdfs/Opticks_by_Sir_Isaac_Newton.pdf

-- Thanks to Phil Yock.

Newsletter editor:

Alan Gilmore Phone: 03 680 6817
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