With pleasure the Standing Conference Committee announces that the next conference of the Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand (RASNZ) will be held in Christchurch over the weekend of 4th - 6th May 2018 and the VSS Symposium which will be held during Sunday evening and Monday.. Our guest speaker will be Dr Katie Mack from the North Carolina State University, and the Fellows’ Lecture for 2018 will be delivered by Steve Butler. Titles and abstracts of presentations will be added below as they are accepted into the programme.

The RASNZ standing conference committee (SCC) invites and encourages anyone interested in New Zealand Astronomy to submit oral or poster papers, with titles and abstracts due by 1st April 2018 or at such a time as the SCC deems the conference programme to be full. Paper submissions may be made using the Conference Paper Submission form. Please note that you must be registered for the conference to give an oral presentation, and for your convenience a link has been provided if you wish to do this when you submit a paper.

Following the conference, the Variable Stars South Symposium will be held at the YMCA Christchurch, 12 Hereford Street (close to the Conference venue), starting on the Sunday evening and continuing on Monday 7th May. Details of the registration for the Symposium are included on the registration form for the conference, and paper submissions should be sent directly to the convenor Mark Blackford (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). Further details for the VSS Symposium can be found at https://www.variablestarssouth.org/5th-variable-stars-south-symposium-christchurch-2018/. Note that this Symposium will be held only if there is sufficient interest, so please register as soon as you can.

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


Conference and VSS Symposium Registration

Conference and VSS Symposium registrations may be made online using the online registration form. Alternatively you may download the Conference Registration form PDF which you will need to print, complete, then mail to the RASNZ Conference Registrations address given on the form.

Paper submissions may be made using the Conference Paper Submission form. Please note that you must be registered for the conference to give an oral presentation, and for your convenience a link has been provided if you wish to do this when you submit a paper.


Conference Brochure

The Conference Brochure gives an overview of the Conference and activities associated with it. It is available for download as a .pdf file: Conference Brochure.


Conference Paper Abstracts

Katie Mack (Invited talk) - "Dispatches from a Dark Universe"

Abstract tba

Steve Butler (Fellows’ talk) - "In the shadow of Planet Earth"

Abstract tba

JJ Eldridge, Elizabeth Stanway and the BPASS collaboration - "Taking a duplicitous view of the Universe"

We now know most of the stars in the Universe are in binary or multiple systems. I will give a brief overview of the impact this makes on our understanding of the Universe. I will discuss details such as stellar population within our own Galaxy, galaxies at the edge of the observable Universe and the progenitors of gravitational wave events.

John Hearnshaw - "Astronomy and stargazing on Pitcairn Island"

I will describe a 2018 visit to Pitcairn Island to advise the descendants of the Bounty mutineers on dark sky protection, establishing an IDA Dark Sky Sanctuary there and launching astro-tourism.

Tom Richards - "From point of light to astrophysical model - the research reach of the modern amateur"

Modern software is enabling the amateur astronomer to make significant, publishable research results - not just piling up observations. This paper will present and discuss the research pipeline for eclipsing binary photometry. I will begin with a dot on an image, and show how its analysis leads to a comprehensive determination of the physical parameters of the binary - and even a 3D model.

Warren Hurley - "The New Zealand Astronomy Directory"

The what, why, how, and who of the online New Zealand Astronomy Directory www.nzastronomy.co.nz by the site's creator.

John Drummond - "Beatrice Hill Tinsley - a ground-breaking NZ female astronomer in a male-dominated academic arena"

Beatrice Tinsley was a British-born New Zealand astronomer who’s research into the evolution of galaxies changed the standard method for determining distances to far galaxies which, in turn, was significant in determining the size of the universe and its rate of expansion.


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