Welcome to the AAS

Founded in 1923 and now with over 600 members, the Auckland Astronomical Society is one of New Zealand's largest

We are based at the Auckland Observatory and provide for all levels of interest and expertise in astronomy. We are committed to educating our members in the science of astronomy and to keeping them up-to-date with current astronomical developments and discoveries.

The Society members provide voluntary support for the Stardome Observatory public programs.


2017 Burbidge Dinner

Date: Saturday, 7th October 2017
Venue: Ellerslie Events Centre, Guineas 3 room
Start Time: 7:00pm (doors open at 6:30pm)

Tickets:
$65 pp, earlybird price of $60.00 is available until 31st August. Includes a buffet dinner.
Ticket can be booked:
- by email at events@astronomy.org.nz
- by phone to Niven on 021 935 261 or Bill on 021 225 8175.

Our guest speaker this year is: Dr Meg Schwamb, Assistant Scientist at the Gemini Observatory's Northern Operations Center in Hilo, Hawai'i. Her talk will be:

Archaeology of the Outer Solar System

Pluto resides beyond Neptune orbiting in a sea of small icy bodies known as the Kuiper belt. These distant objects are truly the fossil relics left over after our Solar System's formation. Digging into the orbits, dynamics, and physical properties of these bodies, provides new insights and windows into the origins and past history of the outer Solar System. This includes hints of a possibly unseen planet, or an event long-since erased from the rest of the Solar System. In this talk, we'll explore the changing views of the outer Solar System from the discoveries of ground-based surveys to the New Horizons fly-by of the Pluto System.

This talk will not be technical and is suitable for a general audience.

Meg Schwamb is a planetary scientist and astronomer studying the bodies in our Solar System and beyond. She currently is an assistant scientist at the Gemini Observatory based in Hilo, Hawai'i. Meg's research focuses on how planets and their building blocks form and evolve, applying ground-based surveys to probe our Solar System's small body reservoirs. Later on this year, Meg will receive the Carl Sagan Medal for Excellence in Public Communication in Planetary Science from the American Astronomical Society's Division for Planetary Science.

As well as our guest speaker there will be the prize giving for the Astrophotography Competition including the Harry Williams Trophy for the supreme winner, and the Beaumont Writing Prize. A spectacular venue, great meal, cash bar and ample free parking.


Upcoming Events

Intro to Astronomy - October
Monday 02 Oct, 2017 at 20:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory
Speaker/Host: Chris Benton

A tutorial series covering many aspects of astronomy. This months topic is:

Galaxies VI: Galactic Centr
...more

Intro to Astronomy - October
Monday 02 Oct, 2017 at 20:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory

A tutorial series covering many aspects of astronomy. This months topic is:

Galaxies VI: Galactic Centres: Supermassive Black Holes & Active Galactic Nuclei

Presented by Chris Benton, this is the sixth of a six part series covering the essentials of galaxies, a very important part of astronomy. Topics will cover the exciting events that occur in the centre of all moderately sized and large galaxies.

It will be comprised of a 30 to 40 minute discussion, followed by a 30 minute pre-recorded documentary lecture from Professor David M. Meyer of Northwestern University, USA. 

·        Principles of Galaxies

·        Principles of relevant General Astronomy

A handout outlining all the key messages will be available.

Whether you are a beginner or a more knowledgeable member of the society, you will not be disappointed. Come and explore the universe together! 



Beatrice Hill Tinsley Lecture 2017
Friday 06 Oct, 2017 at 19:00Hrs
Venue: University of Auckland - OGGB4
Speaker/Host: Dr Natalie Batalha

Public lecture by Dr Natalie Batalha
 
A Planet for Goldilocks: The Search for Evidence of Life Beyond Earth
 
"Not too hot, not too cold" begins the prescripti
...more

Beatrice Hill Tinsley Lecture 2017
Friday 06 Oct, 2017 at 19:00Hrs
Venue: University of Auckland - OGGB4

Public lecture by Dr Natalie Batalha
 
A Planet for Goldilocks: The Search for Evidence of Life Beyond Earth
 
"Not too hot, not too cold" begins the prescription for a world thats just right for life as we know it.  Finding evidence of life beyond Earth is one of the primary goals of science agencies around the world, thanks in large part to NASAs Kepler Mission which launched in 2009 with the objective of finding Goldilocks planets orbiting other stars like our Sun. The space telescope opened our eyes to the terrestrial-sized planets that populate the galaxy as well as exotic worlds unlike anything that exists in the solar system.  Dr. Batalha will give an overview of the science legacy of the Kepler Mission and preview of future missions now on the drawing board.
 
Natalie Batalha is an astrophysicist at NASA Ames Research Center and the project scientist for NASAs Kepler Mission. She holds a PhD in astrophysics from the University of California, Santa Cruz and is one of the leading scientists in the search for planets outside our own solar system.  In 2011 Batalha led the team responsible for the discovery Kepler-10b, the missions first confirmation of a rocky planet outside our solar system and in 2017 she was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential people.
 
7.00pm Friday 6 October
Lecture theatre OGGB4
Level 0, Owen G Glenn Building
The University of Auckland
12 Grafton Road.
 
Hosted by the Department of Physics, University of Auckland, the Auckland Astronomical Society and the Beatrice Hill Tinsley Lecture Trust

Please register for this free event at nataliebatalha.eventbrite.co.nz


Young Astronomers - Oct
Friday 06 Oct, 2017 at 19:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory - Matariki Room
Speaker/Host: Margaret Arthur

Young Astronomers is the session for our younger members, aged 6-13yrs.

Margaret leads an interactive session covering various current topics with plenty of question and answers.

...more

Young Astronomers - Oct
Friday 06 Oct, 2017 at 19:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory - Matariki Room

Young Astronomers is the session for our younger members, aged 6-13yrs.

Margaret leads an interactive session covering various current topics with plenty of question and answers.

There will be telescope viewing after the session if weather permits.




Burbidge Dinner 2017
Saturday 07 Oct, 2017 at 18:30Hrs
Venue: Ellerslie Events Center - Guineas 3
Speaker/Host: - Dr Meg Schwamb

2017 Burbidge Dinner

Date: Saturday, 7th October 2017
Venue: Ellerslie Events Centre, Guineas 3 room
Start Time: 7:00pm (doors open at 6:30pm)

Tickets:
$65 pp,&nbs
...more

Burbidge Dinner 2017
Saturday 07 Oct, 2017 at 18:30Hrs
Venue: Ellerslie Events Center - Guineas 3

2017 Burbidge Dinner

Date: Saturday, 7th October 2017
Venue: Ellerslie Events Centre, Guineas 3 room
Start Time: 7:00pm (doors open at 6:30pm)

Tickets:
$65 pp,  Includes a buffet dinner.
Ticket can be booked:
- by email at events@astronomy.org.nz
- by phone to Niven on 021 935 261 or Bill on 021 225 8175.

Our guest speaker this year is: Dr Meg Schwamb, Assistant Scientist at the Gemini Observatorys Northern Operations Center in Hilo, Hawaii. Her talk will be:

Archaeology of the Outer Solar System

Pluto resides beyond Neptune orbiting in a sea of small icy bodies known as the Kuiper belt. These distant objects are truly the fossil relics left over after our Solar Systems formation. Digging into the orbits, dynamics, and physical properties of these bodies, provides new insights and windows into the origins and past history of the outer Solar System. This includes hints of a possibly unseen planet, or an event long-since erased from the rest of the Solar System. In this talk, well explore the changing views of the outer Solar System from the discoveries of ground-based surveys to the New Horizons fly-by of the Pluto System.

This talk will not be technical and is suitable for a general audience.

Meg Schwamb is a planetary scientist and astronomer studying the bodies in our Solar System and beyond. She currently is an assistant scientist at the Gemini Observatory based in Hilo, Hawaii. Megs research focuses on how planets and their building blocks form and evolve, applying ground-based surveys to probe our Solar Systems small body reservoirs. Later on this year, Meg will receive the Carl Sagan Medal for Excellence in Public Communication in Planetary Science from the American Astronomical Societys Division for Planetary Science.

As well as our guest speaker there will be the prize giving for the Astrophotography Competition including the Harry Williams Trophy for the supreme winner, and the Beaumont Writing Prize. A spectacular venue, great meal, cash bar and ample free parking.


Monthly Meeting Oct -
Monday 09 Oct, 2017 at 20:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory
Speaker/Host: - Dr Meg Schwamb

The Monthly Meeting normally features a talk by a guest speaker. This month is:

Exploring Mars with 150,000 Earthlings ...more

Monthly Meeting Oct -
Monday 09 Oct, 2017 at 20:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory

The Monthly Meeting normally features a talk by a guest speaker. This month is:

Exploring Mars with 150,000 Earthlings

The Red Planet is a dynamic world. Mars south pole is sculpted by the never-ending cycle of freezing and thawing of exposed carbon dioxide ice. In the summer, carbon dioxide jets loft dust and dirt through cracks in the thawing carbon dioxide ice sheet to the surface where winds blow the material into the hundreds of thousands of dark fans observed from orbit. This process is completely alien, with no Earthly counterpart. Understanding the direction, frequency, and appearance of these fans (a proxy for the jets) and how varying factors impact these properties, we can better understand the Martian climate and how it differs from Earth.

It is difficult if not impossible for computer algorithms to accurately identify individual fans. Computers just aren’t good enough to do the required task, but the fans spotted for orbit are easily spotted by the human eye. I will talk about the Planet Four and Planet Four: Terrains projects and its on-going effort collaborating with over 150,000 people around the world through power of the Internet. Volunteers map the dark seasonal fans and other surface features carved during by the carbon dioxide gas jets. I will present the discoveries made by these citizen scientists and discuss how you can get involved in exploring Mars from the comfort of home.

Bio:

Meg Schwamb is a planetary scientist and astronomer studying the bodies in our Solar System and beyond. She currently is an assistant scientist at the Gemini Observatory based in Hilo, Hawaii. Megs research focuses on how planets and their building blocks form and evolve, applying ground-based surveys to probe our Solar System’s small body reservoirs. In collaboration with the Zooniverse, Meg uses crowd-sourcing or citizen science to tackle large astronomical and planetary datasets, engaging people worldwide directly in scientific research. She has collaborated with hundreds of thousands of people to search for new planets outside our Solar System and study the climate of Mars. Meg is a member of the science team for the Zooniverse’s Planet Four projects using human pattern recognition to map wind-blown seasonal fans appearing on Mars’ South Pole, identify seasonal features on the Martian South pole, and search for polygonal ridges in the Arabia Terra region on Mars. She also currently serves as project scientist for the Comet Hunters citizen science project enlisting the public to search for cometary activity in the Solar Systems asteroid belt. Later on this year, Meg will receive the Carl Sagan Medal for Excellence in Public Communication in Planetary Science from the American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Science.




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