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Monthly Meeting July – “The Possum comes out at night”: The latest happenings at Possum Observatory, near Gisborne.

12/07/2021 @ 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Guest Speaker: John Drummod.

John owns and operates the Possum Observatory complex at Patutahi, 12km west of Gisborne. He owns a 50cm diameter, two 41cm, a 35cm and smaller telescopes. He also runs Gisborne Astro Tours (www.gisborneastrotours.com). In this talk, John will be sharing what he is doing with these telescopes and how they are contributing to science. He will also speak about how the astro tourism business is going and what his latest academic studies in astronomy are.

John Drummond has been fascinated with astronomy ever since his mother pointed the ‘Pot’ in Orion out to him when he was ten. John soon developed an interest in photography and it wasn’t long before the two passions were combined into astrophotography. He has been involved in astrophotography for many years and has had photos published in books and magazines around the world – and even on some New Zealand stamps.

He has used his telescopes at Possum Observatory, near Gisborne,  to image targets for Ohio State University in order to co-discover exoplanets via the microlensing method. John also does astrometry of newly discovered comets and asteroids – as well as those of more well-known orbits.

John completed his MSc (Astronomy) in 2016 with Swinburne University of Technology. Currently he is doing his PhD with the University of Southern Queensland’s (USQ) Centre for Astrophysics. His work is on New Zealand’s historical role in the observation and study of comets. He is also heavily involved with the Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand and was made a Fellow in 2018. He teaches science at high school and loves surfing Gizzy’s great waves!


8:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category:


Stardome Observatory
670 Manukau Rd, Epsom
Auckland, 1345 New Zealand


Bill Thomas