AAS Event Calendar

Film Night - August - The Cosmic Microwave Background
Monday 26 Aug, 2019 at 20:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory
Speaker/Host: Ken Hulls

The Cosmic Microwave Background

Under the title “Cosmology in the 21st Century’ we will be looking at an extremely  well-illustrated presentation from the Perimeter Institute, including many video clips. It starts with an explanation of what the CMB is. It then explains the Planck satellite mission and  how information  obtained from the Planck satellite data  gives, among other things: the age of the universe, information on dark matter and how the structure of the CMB explains the creation of galaxies and  clusters of galaxies in the universe. And all in an understandable way”



Introduction to Astronomy - Titan - A possible habitat for life in the outer Solar System!
Monday 02 Sep, 2019 at 20:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory
Speaker/Host: Jonathan Park

Tonight, our special guest speaker Jonathan Park from the Hamilton Astronomical Society, and studying for his Masters in Astronomy at Swinburne University, Melbourne, will address a fascinating astrobiology topic.

Titan – A possible habitat for life in the outer Solar System!

Saturns largest moon Titan is sometimes referred to as Earths frozen twin, with many features resembling those on Earth, but at the same time very alien.  The talk will include comparisons of Titan with Earth and a brief description of NASAs recently approved Dragonfly mission due to launch in 2026. The fascinating question of whether life could have formed on Titan will also be included, with a summary of some of the ideas put forward by scientists regarding life on such a cold, alien moon.

This most stimulating discussion will leave you pondering for days. We look forward to seeing you all there!





Monthly Meeting - Sep
Monday 09 Sep, 2019 at 20:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory
Speaker/Host: TBA

TBA



Astrophotography Group - Sep
Monday 16 Sep, 2019 at 19:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory
Speaker/Host: Shaun Fletcher

TBA



Practical Astronomy - Spring Night Sky
Monday 16 Sep, 2019 at 20:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory
Speaker/Host: Carolle Varughese

This is planetarium show exploring the spring night sky. The session will focus on finding a few constellations and deep sky objects in and around them. 



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

TBA



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

TBA



Monthly Meeting - Oct
Monday 14 Oct, 2019 at 20:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory
Speaker/Host: TBA

TBA



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

TBA



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

TBA



Film Night - October: Light Pollution - The Disappearing Darkness
Monday 28 Oct, 2019 at 20:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory
Speaker/Host: Gavin Logan

This months film is a documentary entitled "Light Pollution - The Disappearing Darkness" which tells about how growing light pollution around the world is affecting astronomy and our views of the night sky. It also covers some of the solutions for this problem.



Introduction to Astronomy - Nov
Monday 04 Nov, 2019 at 20:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory
Speaker/Host: Chris Benton

TBA



Monthly Meeting - Nov
Monday 11 Nov, 2019 at 20:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory
Speaker/Host: TBA

TBA



Practical Astronomy - Nov
Monday 18 Nov, 2019 at 20:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory
Speaker/Host: Carolle Varughese

TBA



Astrophotography Group - Nov
Monday 18 Nov, 2019 at 19:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory
Speaker/Host: Shaun Fletcher

TBA



Burbidge Dinner 2019
Friday 22 Nov, 2019 at 18:30Hrs
Venue: Ellerslie Events Center
Speaker/Host: Professor Joss Bland-Hawthorn

After Dinner Lecture:

"The Galactic Centre - a Window into the Future"

J Joss Bland-Hawthorn, (Director, Sydney Institute of Astronomy, University of Sydney)

The centre of our Galaxy harbours a massive black hole Sgr A* that is likely to be the oldest component of the Galaxy
along with the invisible dark matter around it. How this amazing object came into existence and evolved over 13 billion
years is intimately linked to the nature of the first stars, the chemical elements today and the evolution of dark matter
 and gas. Sgr A* is one of the fastest developing fields in astrophysics where discoveries are made every year.
For example, the most energetic particles ever detected by IceCube in Antarctica, and by telescopes in Namibia
and Argentina, are thought to have been created at the Galactic Centre. Our x-ray and infrared satellites pick up flaring
activity near the black hole each day. The speaker discovered that Sgr A* triggered a huge explosion about 2 million
years ago, when cave people walked the Earth; this was recently confirmed by NASA’s Fermi gamma-ray satellite.
The new ESO Gravity instrument tracks the motion of the closest stars to Sgr A* and detects movement every single
day! One star even reaches 32,000 km/s at closest approach, 12% of the speed of light. Other stars have escaped the
Sgr A* region being ejected at speeds of 2000 km/s into the Galaxy. So what does the future hold and what can we
learn from these remarkable observations? We will explore these topics and some crazy ideas.
Joss Hawthorn is one of Australias leading astronomers with the rare distinction of having made important contributions to both astrophysics and technology. He was born in Kent, educated at an Oxford boarding school before going to university in Birmingham (BSc) and Sussex (PhD). In the period 1985-1993, Joss was an astrophysicist at the Institute for Astronomy in Hawaii and a professor of physics at Rice University Texas. In 1993, he moved to the Anglo-Australian Observatory, Sydney, eventually to become Head of the research and development team.


Today, he is the Laureate Fellow Professor of The University of Sydney’s School of Physics, and Director of the Sydney Institute for Astronomy, co-Director of the Institute of Photonics and Optical Science, and Principal Investigator for the Sydney Astrophotonic Instrumentation Labs. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and the Optical Society of America, serves on the prestigious Annual Reviews of Astronomy & Astrophysics Board, has published over 700 research papers in astronomy, physics, optics and photonics, and has been recognized with many international awards (see below), most recently the Miller Professorship to Berkeley (2018).


Joss’s team are building advanced machines, some funded by NASA, that are being installed on the world’s largest telescopes. In April 2017, one of his creations was launched on an Atlas-V rocket from Cape Canaveral on its way to the International Space Station, the first Australian university to do so. Joss lives in Mosman by Sydney harbour with his wife Susan and boys Christian and Luke. He is a jogger, a sculls rower at the North Shore Rowing Club and plays soccer for Mosman O35.

As well as our guest speaker there will be the prize giving for the New Zealand 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

Date: Friday, 22nd November 2019
Venue:Ellerslie Events Centre,
xxxxxxxxxxxx Room
Start Time: 7:00pm (doors open at 6:30pm)

Tickets: $65 pp, earlybird price of $60.00 is available until 31st October 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



Film Night - November: Quantum Riddle - Quantum Entanglement
Monday 25 Nov, 2019 at 20:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory
Speaker/Host: Gavin Logan

This months film is a 2019 Documentary on Quantum Entanglement.
Einstein called it “spooky action at a distance,” but today quantum entanglement is poised to revolutionize technology from computers to cryptography. Physicists have gradually become convinced that the phenomenon—two subatomic particles that mirror changes in each other instantaneously over any distance—is real. But a few doubts remain. This documentary follows a ground-breaking experiment in the Canary Islands to use quasars at opposite ends of the universe to once and for all settle remaining questions. 

This Film is 1 hour 10 minutes long and will be the only film shown at this Film Night.



Introduction to Astronomy - Dec
Monday 02 Dec, 2019 at 20:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory
Speaker/Host: Chris Benton

TBA



Monthly Meeting - Dec
Monday 09 Dec, 2019 at 20:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory
Speaker/Host: TBA

TBA



Astrophotography Group - Dec
Monday 16 Dec, 2019 at 19:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory
Speaker/Host: Shaun Fletcher

TBA



Practical Astronomy - Dec
Monday 16 Dec, 2019 at 20:00Hrs
Venue: Stardome Observatory
Speaker/Host: Carolle Varughese

TBA



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