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A web site by Paul Moss

One - Tahi - Ichi Ban One Ocean, One People, One Sky

ASTRONOMY forum for New Zealand (Aotearoa) Join NOW!!! win $50 prize
New Zealand Astronomical Community


Guarding Against Destruction of the night sky at
Te Rae Kai Hau Point aka Te Raekaihau Point

Sharing Space Astronomy

Astronomy for Wellington,
New Zealand, and the World

- inspired by the light and dark of the southern sky

a website by Paul Moss - July 2008


NZ Astronomy Data is available from LINZ

The International Year of Astronomy - what is it?

The International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009) will be a global celebration of astronomy and its contributions to society and culture, highlighted by the 400th anniversary of the first use of an astronomical telescope by Galileo Galilei. The aim of the Year is to stimulate worldwide interest, especially among young people, in astronomy and science under the central theme "The Universe, Yours to Discover".
IYA2009 NZ National Node

IAU - International Astronomy Union


International Sidewalk Astronomy Night

Full ISAN NZ story and photos here: ISAN2008

April 12th 2008 1pm to 11pm
Waterfront Queens Wharf
near sails and Rainbow Warrior

night sky activity in Wellington

see 2007 event here

ISAN official Website Here


One People, One Sky

The star-filled night fascinates us all. People have gazed upward at it in wonder and awe for thousands of years. Regardless of earthly differences in culture, nationality or religion, the heavens are a common meeting ground for all of Earth's inhabitants. The boundaries we place between us vanish when we look skyward. Whoever, whatever or wherever we are, we all share the same sky.
more info at Astronomers Without Borders

Astronomy Aotearoa wins BEST DESIGN award....
pics here

Carter Observatory to re-open

Carter Observatory July 2008 Image by Paul Moss
opening for summer 2008/9


click for more winter astro camp images


Stonehenge Aotearoa


Green Flash at sunset

Photo by Paul Moss

just before the sun set

Photo by Paul Moss

The making of the movie STARS, a presentation
by Paul Moss more here at SKY

STARS, a project by composer Warwick Blair
more here at SKY


Photo and artwork by Paul Moss


Performance: Warwick Blair
Saturday 26 April 12-4pm, The Gus Fisher Gallery

Composer Warwick Blair presents a four-hour preview of his forthcoming project Stars, a 24-hour-long audio-visual project inspired by the Indian concept of anoraniyan mahatomahiyan, which proposes an intertwined relationship between the cosmos and human body. Blair's composition draws from gandharva music, which applies particular qualities to specific times of the day, and incorporates electronic backing and vocals from Sandhya Rao Badakere.

Admission free

The Gus Fisher Gallery
74 Shortland Street, Auckland
Gallery Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 10am-5pm; Saturday, 12-4pm; closed Public Holidays

Phone: 9 373 7599 ext 86646

Gifford Observatory Info Page


The point is saved (for now)...

Kia whakapūmau tonu te wairua o Te Raekaihau

Be continued forever, the wild spirits of Te Raekaihau

Wellington Marine Conservation Trust has withdrawn its High Court appeal against an Environment Court decision that denied resource consent for the proposed $20 million marine education centre at
Te Raekaihau Pt. REBECCA PALMER - The Dominion Post

more here: The Dominion Post Te Rae Kai Hau Point and
here and here


Book Launch

full launch story and pics here

Astronomy Aotearoa
by Robert Shaw

TEL +64 (0)9 442 7400
FAX +64 (0)9 442 7401

Launching students into space
The Hon Luamanuvao Winnie Laban will launch a secondary school textbook on astronomy and space in the library at Aotea College on Monday 17 September. The book, Astronomy Aotearoa, teaches the new curriculum in astronomy and space exploration for secondary school students.
Three years ago the Government introduced new NCEA standards for astronomy and students can now gain up to 12 NCEA credits for study in this science. Government intends that this curriculum will spark the interest of students in science and technology. It is a part of our country’s effort towards a knowledge economy. The book brings into focus the achievements of ancient peoples, including Maori and Pasifika, New Zealand astronomers at work today, and the history of Western science.
It introduces students to Newton, Einstein, and Hawking.
Pearson Education New Zealand published the book in cooperation with the Carter Observatory. The author is Robert Shaw from Porirua City. The book features the work of Anaru Reedy of Te Wananga O Aotearoa, and New Zealand photographers including Paul Moss.



Photo by Paul Moss
One of the Astronomy Aotearoa contributors,
Paul Moss, holding a pre-release of the book.


Photo and artwork by Paul Moss



“I want to especially note the incredible fortitude and strengths of one to two hundred Wellingtonians that are prepared to brave a GALE FORCE wind laden with salt for many hours. I measured 10.8 degrees dropping to 10.5 later, and that’s in the shelter of the motor vehicle, not taking into account wind chill. The wind was 70km/hr dropping to 50km/hr sustained, until around 11pm when it dropped noticeably. We were rewarded with the best views in Wellington, even the Milky Way appeared during totality, a once in a life time experience for most of us. I saw the moon as a ‘rock in space’ for the second time only, ever. It had a 3d quality through the refractor that blew me away. I must also thank all the for such a buildup and preparation, support and encouragement. You guys rock! I’m esp grateful to the last minute weather reports, to try and understand the weather, and the rapid delivery of pics back to the list, very cool guys!! I experienced the largest astro gathering ever in my life (unfunded, outside of public funded events).” Quote from Paul Moss, Sharing Space .

If you wish to comment then go here
to Paul Moss blogspot



Talk to Kiwi Astronomers Now!

* meet at MySpace mozaherd

* meet at NZ Astro Chat here

* meet at NZastronomers at Yahoo here

Hear Kiwi Radio Now! stream George FM here


*Interesting little snipett.. Paul Moss gets published again later this year.
*Astronomy Aotearoa: NCEA Level 1 This title is published in New Zealand
*Author: Robert Shaw
*Edition: 1
*ISBN: 9780582549906
*ISBN10: 0582549906
*Format: Paperback ; 88 pp
*Published: Not Yet Published; Expected date: 21/11/2007

*Illustrations by many New Zealanders, including Paul Moss.

Images and web design sponsored by Sharing Space - Astronomy NZ

Book Launch

Astronomy Aotearoa
by Robert Shaw


Photos and related comment click here

The Hon Luamanuvao Winnie Laban (right) and
Robert Shaw, (left) Launching Astronomy Aotearoa.


all pics copyright to Paul Moss
click here go to Total Lunar Eclipse
Aug 28th 2007

Ray Ching observing the total Lunar Eclipse
Aug 28th 2007 from Te Rae Kai Hau Point,
Wellington, New Zealand. more pics here:

Sunset over Te Wai Pounamu


Comet Neat Wright Hill Wellington

Comet Neat Wright Hill Wellington

Aurora Australis Titahi Bay Porirua Wellington Region

Aurora Australis Bluff Hill Near Invercargill Southland New Zealand

'STARS' performance Saturday 18th October
Dunedin Public Art Gallery

STARS - The making of the movie, more..

Observing Partial Lunar Eclipse 17th August

"The Partial Lunar Eclipse on August 17th 2008 will be visible at Moonset for all of Australia, Asia and New Zealand, though New Zealanders will only see the Penumbral stage." more at Ice In Space here.

City  Pen. Begins  Moon  Alt.  Partial Begins  Moon Alt.  Period visible  Moon Sets Sun Rise Sunrise Bearing Sunset Bearing
Auckland  06:25 6 07:36 -7° 
Christchurch  06:25 9 07:36 -3° 
Dunedin  06:25 11 07:36 -1°
Hamilton  06:25 6 07:36 -7° 
Wellington  06:25 7 07:36 -6°  43min 07:08 07:04 74 286
below horizon minutes visible  adjust for magnetic declination



Observing Stars, Planets, Moon and clouds
this month!!! Early August 2008

Dance of the Planets (2 August to 10 August)
G'Day All,

If you go watch the western horizon during twilight for the next week, you will see some amazing things. Starting on Saturday August 2, the Crescent Moon, Venus, Regulus, Saturn and Mars form a terrific lineup. You will need a flat, unobstructed horizon to see this, as the Moon and Venus will be just under a handspan and a half above the western horizon half an hour after sunset (start looking around this time). Then on August 3 the Moon is near Saturn, and on August 4th the Moon is near Mars. During this time Venus draw close to Regulus, and on August 5-6 Venus and Regulus are close. Mercury then joins the lineup, and by August 10 Mercury and Regulus are close. At this time you can easily see all 5 classic planets that are visible to the unaided eye (Mercury, Venus and Mars and Saturn in the West, Jupiter in the east).

There is still more planetary dancing to come after that, but this is enough for now.

Ian Musgrave Peta O'Donohue, Jack Francis, Michael James
and Andrew Thomas Musgrave - join the email newsletter here: Southern Sky Watch

First image from August.:

THE PLANETS IN AUGUST (abridged from RASNZ newsletter)

All five naked eye planets will be visible at some time in the evening sky during August, four only for a short time after sunset.

Early in the month, 4 planets, Mercury, Venus, Saturn and Mars will be strung out, almost equally spaced, in the early evening sky.  At first Mercury will be too close to the Sun to see, and only the other 3 will be visible.  On the first few evenings of the month, Venus will be very low shortly after sunset and will itself be set before the sky is dark enough to see Saturn and Mars. read more at RASNZ web site join the emaillist.

Stonehenge Aotearoa click on pic to see larger versions,
and info about this incredible place. more

Taatai Arorangi:
The Moon and Moon Halo, Scorpius, Jupiter, and a Pacifica View.

click on pic to see the larger versions.
Images and Artwork by Paul Moss

Conjunction 10th July

July 10th. more

July 8th. more

and 7th July the moon is on the other end... more
its Regulus, Mars, Saturn, Moon. watch on the 10th/11th for the conjunction of Saturn and Mars.

its Moon, Regulus, Mars, Saturn, (label is wrong)
Click on image to see more images of line-up

From Ian Musgrave, Adelaide, Australia:
"In the early evening Mars, Regulus and Saturn are putting on a show, and watching them over the next few days will be rewarding. Mars is now rapidly approaching Regulus, and will be very close on 30 June, 1 and 2 July. Mars and Regulus will be at their closest on 1 July. Together these two objects will make a narrow triangle with Saturn, a lovely sight in the evening sky. Mars then overtakes Regulus and heads for Saturn. On Saturday July 6, the crescent Moon, Mars, Regulus and Saturn are in a spectacular line up. This line up would be a good subject for the sketching the sky competition, so why not get the pencils and paper out and have a go..
In the early morning Mercury is becoming quite prominent, and is in a beautiful location below Alderbaran and the Hyades. On Monday morning the crescent Moon, Alderbaran and Mercury from a nice triangle easily visible an hour before sunrise. COMET With the waning of the Moon, now is a good time to see Comet 2007 W1 Boattini. It is currently just above Orion and very easy to spot in binoculars.

|A spotters map showing the eastern horizon an hour and a half before sunrise is here and a detailed map suitable for printing with the field of view of 10x50 binoculars indicated by a circle is here . Use the spotters map to locate the general area of the comet, then the detailed map to make sense of what you are seeing in binoculars.
from Ian Musgrave Peta O'Donohue, Jack Francis, Michael James and Andrew Thomas Musgrave
Southern Sky Watch

Remember the information is intended for the southern hemisphere skygazer.

Comet Boatini over Stonehenge Aotearoa pic by Paul Moss




Seals recognise and orientate themselves with the stars…

we've heard bees use the Earth's magnetic field to navigate by. We've also heard about some bird species following the Sun to find the location of their evening roost. But what do we know about the animals living at sea? Do they use astronomical aids to help them find their way around the planet? Mammals such as whales are known to exhibit "skyhopping" behaviour when they surface from the water to have a look around, but seals go one step further; they can recognise and orientate themselves with the stars… more

Comet Boatini Images - Te Rae Kai Hau Point June 15th 2008

images by Paul Moss - click for 1024 pixel versions

Day Sky Images - CZA and Sundogs
(Circumzenithal Arc and Parhelia. Wellington New Zealand. June 2008)

CZA photo by Ray Ching and Paul Moss

CZA photo by Ray Ching and Paul Moss

Parhelia (sundog) photo by Ray Ching

Parhelia (sundog) over Wellington Harbour photo by Ray Ching

Night Sky Images - STARS and Comet
(The Milky Way and Comet Boatini. Ahiaruhe, Wairarapa. June 2008)

Meteorite (slow fireball) over Stonehenge Aotearoa pic by Paul Moss


The Crux (Southern Cross) over Stonehenge Aotearoa pic by Paul Moss


Stonehenge Aotearoa


Astronomy Aotearoa
by Robert Shaw


Astronomy Aotearoa has made the shortlist for the BPANZ Design Awards in the Educational category. It is a huge honour to have made the short list, and we are all hoping that it will take top honours. Congratulations to the Author Robert Shaw, and the Editing and Layout Design by Marie Low. see more here

See book launch story below left, or here


Photo and artwork by Paul Moss

'STARS' The making of the movie.
frames from the movie STARS:

Photo by Paul Moss

Reporoa stars, a frame from the movie production.


Photo by Paul Moss
Stars preview performance at Gus Fisher Gallery

Astronomy Day
10th May 2008

IAL -International Astronomical League

Astronomy Day is a grass roots movement designed to share the joy of astronomy with the general population - "Bringing Astronomy to the People."� On Astronomy Day, thousands of people who have never looked through a telescope will have an opportunity to see first hand what has so many amateur and professional astronomers all excited.� Astronomy clubs, science museums, observatories, universities, planetariums, laboratories, libraries, and nature centers host special events and activities to acquaint their population with local astronomical resources and facilities.� Many of these events are located at non-astronomical sites; shopping malls, parks, urban centers-truly Bringing Astronomy to the People.� It is an astronomical PR event that helps highlight ways the general public can get involved with astronomy - or at least get some of their questions about astronomy answered.� Astronomy Week encompasses Astronomy Day starting on the previous Monday and ending on the following Sunday.�

The theme of Astronomy Day is "Bringing Astronomy to the People," but on occasion there is an additional theme (but not always) when conditions warrant.� This additional theme is often decided just a few months prior to Astronomy Day so be sure to check this web site annually for any additional theme.�

Wellington Event location - Queens Wharf (tbc)


Full ISAN NZ story and photos here: ISAN2008

The Moon - by Dmtri
(more of Dmtri's pics on the ISAN2008 page here)

ISAN 2008 Wellington NZ

Bonnevue Pictures interviewing at ISAN 2008 -
From right: Ken Kopelson, (- Producer / Director / Writer), Paul Moss (ISAN NZ Organiser), Roland Idaczyk (IYA2009 NZ Webmaster), Ann Kopelson ( Producer / Writer),
and Anaru Reedy (maori Astronomy/Navigation).

Full ISAN NZ story and photos here: ISAN2008


The movie PALINDROME - trailer
is available on line here:

More info at Bonnevue Pictures


April 12th 2008 will be the second international sidewalk astronomy night and we invite all amateur astronomers to join us! We'll have telescopes out on the street corners, in front of movie theaters, in state and national parks, in city centre parks ... anywhere there are crowds of people!

Our goal is to take scopes to the public on the same night worldwide, reaching hundreds of thousands of people and uniting amateur astronomers on different continents. We also hope many amateurs will try and like this different approach to astronomy outreach and will continue to hold sidewalk observing sessions throughout the year.
The events don't have to be large, one or two scopes at a location will be enough and if your club has more scopes and members, why not set up multiple observing sites around your city?  We know that many clubs and organizations have regularly scheduled public events at local observatories and planetariums, so we  hope that you can spare one or two members for sidewalk observing.   official ISAN site here

International Sidewalk Astronomy Day/Night

April 12th 2008 1pm to 11pm Waterfront
Queens Wharf near sails and Rainbow Warrior
MAP here
night sky activity in Wellington? and info?

see 2007 event here

a community of common Interest - astro stuff!!

go here (you need a yahoo ID) and vote in the latest poll:
click nzastronomers at

the truth about how many emails and the
attached content were posted at . HERE.


International Sidewalk Astronomy Night - ISAN
Saturday, 12 April 2008
Impressions this week: 1139
Impressions to date: 3930

see more below...

NEWS: STARS MOVIE nearly finished,
Warwick Blair's STARS musical composition is complete, the companion movie is nearing completion. The first 24 hour premiere of both works will appear as one installation at the National Film Archive in November 2008. Later this year, 6 movies will tour Art galleries across NZ with the composition, with 8 hour performances at some locations.

Earth Hour (huge success)

International Energy Saving Event

March 29th 2008 at 8pm for 60mins

more here

Created to take a stand against the greatest threat our planet has ever faced, Earth Hour uses the simple action of turning off the lights for one hour to deliver a powerful message about the need for action on global warming.

This simple act has captured the hearts and minds of people all over the world. As a result, at 8pm March 29, 2008 millions of people in some of the world’s major capital cities, including Copenhagen, Toronto, Chicago, Melbourne, Brisbane and Tel Aviv will unite and switch off for Earth Hour.


Images from the South Coast Solar Eclipse Event
- Thursday February 7th 2008

Te Rae Kai Hau Point

for lots more, see
user Paul Moss and Edwin Rodley

Photo courtesy Ron Fisher


Toa, Roland, Gary, Hari, and Haritoa, 4 months, enjoyed the event... cool..


On Thursday afternoon (7th February 2008) a large chunk of the Sun will disappear as the Moon covers it in a partial solar eclipse. This rare event only happens every few years from Gisborne’s perspective. At first a small bite of the Sun will disappear at 4:43pm and then the Moon will progressively cover the Sun until its greatest coverage of 63% at 5:49pm. From there it will move off the Sun until it is all over at 6:49pm.  

A partial solar eclipse isn’t nearly as spectacular as a total solar eclipse when the Sun is completely covered for a few minutes. Nevertheless, it’s still an amazing sight to behold – however, sight is the thing to beware of as any attempt to look at the Sun with binoculars or a telescope (or even the naked eye) can result in blindness. The Gisborne Astronomical Society is opening the Cook Observatory on Kaiti Hill from 4:45pm this Thursday to show people how to view the event safely.

This is the first partial solar eclipse visible from New Zealand since
April 2005.  The next will not be until November 2011. So the general consensus is, make the most of this one!

For more details go to the Gisborne Astronomical Society website: Thanks to John Drummond.


Carter Observatory, Wellington, New Zealand. Image copyright 2008 by Paul Moss

Lets remember Carter Observatory. One of my fond memories from last summer, Bill and I tried all sorts
of angles to achieve the composition, thanks Bill.
Lets reduce the light pollution, lower our energy use,
help the nocturnal animals get healthier,
share the treasures of the sky.



ore pics here: Rakiura Music



The new website for 'Sky Of Plenty' will be featured here as it comes into being.. It is for
The Whakatane Astronomical Society!

Check it out here:
The Whakatane Astronomical Society

SkyDome Observatory

new page here

more info about SkyDome Observatory at
Astronomy Adventures NZ - New Zealand

====== older events here

Three Scapes Four - Marama
Three Scapes Four - Marama, Te Rae Kai Hau Point,
Wellington, 26 September 2007. 5pm onwards

Almost Full Moon Rising with awesome South Coast Sunset, telescopes, maybe fire and drums.. celebrate the open spaces of the Wellington South Coast. Warm clothing and hot drinks recommended! Bring cameras and learn astro photography... learn about the Wellington Community and understand the local body election from the residents viewpoint..

Sunset 1822
Moonrise 1738

(the almost full moon will be visible for 44 minutes with the sun, before sunset.) more info text 021 440 443

Paul Moss celibrating at Te Rae Kai Hau Point with friends
(self portrait photo assisted by Roland)

and more at







check out the Astronomy In New Zealand swicki at