General Information

The object of the Society is the promotion and extension of knowledge of astronomy and related branches of science. It encourages interest in Astronomy, and is an association of observers and others for mutual help and advancement of science. It was founded in 1920 as the New Zealand Astronomical Society and assumed its present title on receiving the Royal Charter in 1946. In 1967 it became a Member Body of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

RASNZ's rules are available as a .PDF here.

The Society was incorporated on 28-Jan-1924. Incorporation No. 215513,  NZBN 9429042800736

The Society is a Registered Charity No. CC25390. 4/06/2008

The address of the Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand is:

P O Box 3181, Wellington, New Zealand.

Email to RASNZ executive secretary​​​​​​​​​​​​​​


See Glen Rowe's Member benefits article.

Membership of the Society is open to all interested in astronomy. The RASNZ has about 180 individual members, including both professional and amateur astronomers. Many of the astronomical research and observing programmes carried out in this country involve collaboration between professional and amateur observers in New Zealand and elsewhere. In addition the society has a number of special interest groups or sections which cater for people who have interests in particular areas of astronomy. There are also a number of local societies which are affiliated to the RASNZ but generally cater for local amateur astronomers.

The RASNZ rules and bylaws are available to download (RASNZ Rules and Bylaws) as a PDF file.


The annual subscription of the RASNZ for ordinary members is $40.00. This is reduced to $20.00 for students engaged in full-time study. Special rates apply to Affiliated Societies, and to overseas members. Subscriptions cover the calendar year, reduced rates apply for those joining late in the year. Membership forms and further details are available on line.

Publications received by members include Southern Stars is the Society Journal published four times a year. This is published in both electronic format (PDF) for download, and also printed and offered to members at a reduced rate over the normal subscription rate. The Email Newsletter is published monthly apart from December and sent to members by email. Members without Email may receive a printed copy.

Membership application.

Contacts for the Society Officers

Society Officers may be contacted by Email from the following links.

Annual Conference

An Annual RASNZ Conference is held at which members and non-members present papers on their own observations, research and other topics of astronomical interest. Anyone interested in astronomy is welcome to attend.

The RASNZ AGM is held during the Conference (usually at the end of the Saturday afternoon session). Council members are elected during the AGM in even numbered years. Affiliated Societys and RASNZ Lecture Trust AGMs are generally held on the Friday afternoon of the opening of the conference. Council meets before Conference and usually continues its meeting with a session following the close of Conference.

A nomination form for council members may be downloaded: RASNZCouncilNomination2020.docx. Nominations should be received by the RASNZ executive secretary three months prior to the AGM.

RASNZ Publications

The RASNZ produces or co-produces a number of publications. These are supplied to all members as part of their subscription.

Southern Stars

Southern Stars is the official journal of RASNZ. It is intended the new look publication should contain:

  • RESEARCH PAPERS - theoretical, observational, technical, historical, etc.

  • NEWS ARTICLES regarding recent events in NZ astronomy - discoveries, gatherings, awards, etc.

  • ANNUAL REPORTS from NZ astronomical institutions.

  • REVIEWS of astronomical activities - sections, local/regional groups, personal, etc

  • LETTERS to the editor

  • OBSERVERS FORUM - particularly interesting photographs or descriptions.

Southern Stars is normally published quarterly. Institutions may subscribe to Southern Stars at the rate of $75 per annum. Intending contributors should contact the editor who will advise on current requirements for contributions.Send Emails to the editor, Mr R W Evans Southern stars editor, postal address: 15 Taiepa Road, RD9 Otatara, Invercargill, New Zealand.

General enquiries about Southern Stars should be directed to sstars@rasnz.org.nz, or by postal mail to Southern Stars, RASNZ, PO Box 3181, Wellington, NZ.

Recent Southern Stars issues are available (to members only) for download as .PDF files.

Email Newsletter

RASNZ now produces a monthly Email Newsletter. This is sent by Email to all members with this facility and to all Societies affiliated to RASNZ. Members without Email will be sent a printed copy.

Any other person or institution who would like to receive this Newsletter by Email should send a message requesting they be added to the circulation list to the Editor.

The Email Newsletter is published monthly from January to November and is timed to appear about the 20th of the month. It contains news about RASNZ council, Affiliated Societies and RASNZ sections, together with items of current interest in astronomy in New Zealand and beyond. Contributions may be sent to the Editor at any time. The deadline for each issue is normally the 18th of the month.