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.




2019 NZ Astrophotography Competition

Calling all Astrophotographers, it's that time of year again, time to get your entries in for the 2019 New Zealand Astrophotography competition, this year we are super lucky to have the "Bad Astronomer" Phil Plait revise his role as judge for the competition, Phil is an is an American astronomer, skeptic, writer and popular science blogger. Phil is best known for debunking misconceptions in Astronomy but is also a well known Astrophotography enthusiast, he received his PHD in Astronomy at the University of Virginia in 1994, during the 1990s, Plait worked with the COBE satellite and later was part of the Hubble Space Telescope team at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, working largely on the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph. In 1995, he published observations of a ring of circumstellar material around a supernova (SN 1987A), which led to further study of explosion mechanisms in core-collapse supernovae.

As in previous years we are lucky to have Australian Sky & Telescope on board as sponsors of both the Deep Sky category and the Nightscape / Artistic category, the winners of these categories will receive a one year subscription to the magazine as well as having their images printed in the magazine.

We are also lucky to have Astronz sponsor the Solar System category with a $300 Astronz gift voucher, Astronz is easily New Zealand's best known and most trusted supplier of Astronomical equipment.

The Auckland Astronomical Society will also provide a cash prize for each category winner.

We are also lucky to have Stardome Observatory and Planetarium print a selection of the entrants images for an astrophotography exhibition that will be displayed at Stardome after the competition awards are announced, the exhibition will then tour around New Zealand at various events and galleries.

The competition cutoff date is the 30th of September and the competition awards will be announced at the annual Burbidge dinner which is the Auckland Astronomical Society's premier annual event, keep an eye out on the society website for details on the forthcoming Burbidge dinner.

Looking forward to seeing all your images and wishing you all clear skies.

Competition Rules
https://www.astronomy.org.nz/Documents/Journal/2019%20nz%20astrophoto%20comp%20conditions%20of%20entry.doc.pdf

Entry Form
https://www.astronomy.org.nz/Documents/Journal/2019%20%20hw%20astrophoto%20competition%20entry%20form.doc.pdf

Upcoming Events

Film Night - Sep
Monday 23 Sep, 2019 at 20:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory
Speaker/Host: Gavin Logan

TBA
...more

Film Night - Sep
Monday 23 Sep, 2019 at 20:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory

TBA


Introduction to Astronomy - October
Monday 07 Oct, 2019 at 20:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory
Speaker/Host: Chris Benton

Chris Benton will do a pictorial "Show and ...more


Introduction to Astronomy - October
Monday 07 Oct, 2019 at 20:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory

Chris Benton will do a pictorial "Show and Tell" story of three large professional telescopes he recently visited to provide an insight into their operations and research. These include the Keck Observatory in Mauna Kea, Hawaii; and the European Southern Observatory and Atacama Large Millimeter Array in the Atacama Desert, Chile.

More importantly, however, this topic provides an ideal vehicle to discuss important principles of science and observational astronomy. An easy to understand explanation of the full spectrum of light followed by how the atmosphere affects the various wavelengths, will clearly illustrate why remote and elevated locations are best for these and future telescopes.


Monthly Meeting - Oct - Imaging the Invisible
Monday 14 Oct, 2019 at 20:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory
Speaker/Host: Dr Willem Van Straten

The radio signals from pulsars travel to Earth along multiple ray paths owing to both diffractive and refractive effects of turbulent structure in the free electrons along the line of sight.  By ...more

Monthly Meeting - Oct - Imaging the Invisible
Monday 14 Oct, 2019 at 20:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory

The radio signals from pulsars travel to Earth along multiple ray paths owing to both diffractive and refractive effects of turbulent structure in the free electrons along the line of sight.  By studying the twinkling of pulsars, we can image and study otherwise invisible structures in the ionised interstellar medium.  In principle, these maps can be used to mitigate a significant source of systematic error in Pulsar Timing Array experiments, which aim to detect the very low-frequency gravitational wave background produced by the host of supermassive binary black holes that merged in the distant past.

Dr Willem Van Straten:

As an undergraduate in Canada, I was preparing for a job in the space industry when I learned about radio astronomy and new ways to study the physical extremes of our Universe through pulsars.  I completed my PhD on high-precision pulsar timing in Australia before undertaking post-doctoral and academic staff appointments at the Netherlands Foundation for Research in Astronomy (ASTRON), The Centre for Gravitational Wave Astronomy (The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley), and the Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing (Swinburne University of Technology).  In 2016, I joined AUT as a Senior Lecturer.

I’ve co-authored over 100 refereed journal articles, primarily related to the study of pulsars and fast radio bursts, including 4 in Science and 2 in Nature.  I work closely with international collaborators on large, long-term projects such as the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array (PPTA), the International Pulsar Timing Array (IPTA), and the Survey for Pulsars and Extragalactic Radio Bursts (SUPERB).  In support of these projects, I’ve led the development of three scientific data analysis packages that are used by the international community of pulsar astronomers (psrdada, dspsr, and psrchive).  I also led the design of the pulsar timing instrumentation for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) as a member of the SKA Central Signal Processor consortium.



Practical Astronomy - Oct
Monday 21 Oct, 2019 at 20:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory
Speaker/Host: Carolle Varughese

TBA
...more

Practical Astronomy - Oct
Monday 21 Oct, 2019 at 20:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory

TBA


Astrophotography Group - Oct
Monday 21 Oct, 2019 at 19:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory
Speaker/Host: Shaun Fletcher

TBA
...more

Astrophotography Group - Oct
Monday 21 Oct, 2019 at 19:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory

TBA


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