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  • Christchurch Stargazing Experiences Winter 2022

    Our stargazing tours for winter 2022 have been expanded with a selection of experiences tailored around the Te Marama (The Moon) or a dark sky. We now also offer a cloudy night option or event rescheduling in the event of bad weather.

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  • Darksky Experience - Stargazing Tour Winter 2022 (to book click the cluster above)

    The stars have many tales to tell, both mythic and scientific. Our skyguides will take you through the narratives of the night sky, connecting you with stories that are ancient and information that is up to date.

    Our groups are kept quite small so that we can show you more objects in a pleasantly unhurried manner. Along the way, we can take time to respond to individual requests and answer any of your questions. If you have a particular object you want to see, just ask! We’ll let you know if it is up and able to be viewed.

    Travelling the night sky…

    We begin the night with a general, “naked eye” orientation to the celestial sphere. You will learn about the signposts in the sky that were first established by astronomers of the past, and how, to this day, we still use them as guides. Rug up warm, grab a seat or a beanbag and search the skies using our astronomy rated binoculars.

    So many stars and a planet or two…

    You will then be shown stellar sights (through our large 12 inch GOTO Dobsonian telescope) that the ancients could never dream of seeing: pairs of stars so close that they appear to be one, colourful families of stars, and round clusters that have stars so plentiful that they appear to be frozen fireworks. Young and old (really old!), near and far; the stars have so much to tell us

    The realm of the nebulae…

    On those nights when the moon acts shy and hides below the horizon, the wonders of deep space become available for viewing. This is when we get to visit the realm of the nebulae. We will have a look at those that reflect the light of stars, those that emit their own light, and those great ‘holes’ in the starry fields that hide the light of countless stars behind them.

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  • Te Marama Experience - Stargazing Tour Winter 2022 (to book click The Moon above)

    The stars have many tales to tell, both mythic and scientific. Our skyguides will take you through the narratives of the night sky, connecting you with stories that are ancient and information that is up to date.

    Our groups are kept quite small so that we can show you more objects in a pleasantly unhurried manner. Along the way, we can take time to respond to individual requests and answer any of your questions. If you have a particular object you want to see, just ask! We’ll let you know if it is up and able to be viewed.

    Travelling the night sky…

    We begin the night with a general, “naked eye” orientation to the celestial sphere. You will learn about the signposts in the sky that were first established by astronomers of the past, and how, to this day, we still use them as guides. Rug up warm, grab a seat or a beanbag and search the skies using our astronomy rated binoculars.

    So many stars and a planet or two…

    You will then be shown stellar sights (through our large 12 inch GOTO Dobsonian telescope) that the ancients could never dream of seeing: pairs of stars so close that they appear to be one, colourful families of stars, and round clusters that have stars so plentiful that they appear to be frozen fireworks. Young and old (really old!), near and far; the stars have so much to tell us

    Oh, heavenly orb…

    On nights when the moon takes over the heavens, the star tour will be shortened so that we can spend more time having a look at our nearest neighbour in space. Luna is a riveting object full of features, and it is simply stunning on a good night. We will travel its ‘seas’, look to its many types of craters, and peer at its ranges. Along the way, our skyguides will provide information about various sites and how they formed.

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    Matariki Experience - Stargazing Tour 2022 (to book click Matariki above)

    Human beings have been looking up to the stars for millennia, noting the regularities that the night sky shows from night to night, season to season, and year to year. Individual stars were named very early on in our history; indeed, the star names most in use in the world today often come from ancient civilizations, and have been passed on to each new generation, first by word of mouth, and then in written form.

    Every culture known to historians and anthropologists has a lore that covers the night sky. This is true of Aotearoa New Zealand, as well.

    Our “Matariki Experience” will share some of this lore. It begins with a broad discussion of the origins and purposes of star lore in ancient cultures. We then focus on tātai arorangi, the astronomical body of knowledge that was gathered and grown in Aotearoa New Zealand by its indigenous people, and that became such an integral part of Te Ao Māori in years past. This part of the talk includes some of those stories shared with us regarding Matariki, an event of both spiritual and practical significance for the early Māori.

    Should the weather allow…

    The stars have many tales to tell, both mythic and scientific. Our skyguides will take you through the narratives of the night sky, connecting you with stories that are ancient and information that is up to date.

    Our groups are kept quite small so that we can show you more objects in a pleasantly unhurried manner. Along the way, we can take time to respond to individual requests and answer any of your questions. If you have a particular object you want to see, just ask! We’ll let you know if it is up and able to be viewed.

    If the clouds come rolling in...

    Our Matariki experience will go ahead even if there is cloud over, it takes the format of  an informal presentation & seminar type talk with questions and answers, indoors.  We then hope to be able to demonstrate the night sky outside. You will receive a discount code worth $20 per person off your next visit during the Winter 2022 season, should the event be held under cloud restrictions, thus preventing us from showing you some of the night sky.

  • All experience options

    Cloudy Night Tickets
    Each of our tours has the option to select a "cloudy night option" ticket. If you purchase one of these tickets, your experience will go ahead even if there is cloud over, however it will take the format of  an informal presentation & seminar type talk with questions and answers. You will also receive a discount code worth $20 per person off your next visit during the Winter 2022 season should the event be held under cloud restrictions.

    General Information
    Join us on our ventures into the night sky. We look forward to sharing its beauty and knowledge with you.

    This is an event where the program is based outside for around 60 minutes. You will get cold. We highly recommend that you dress appropriately, and wear warms clothes and remember thick socks, especially in winter!

    Refunds
    If you are not able to attend, you can request a refund up to 7 days before the event starts, but refunds, transfers or re-bookings are not available after this time, unless the event has been cancelled by weather (see the tour information for details). If you need to contact us after you have purchased tickets, please use the contact organiser link in the email that contained your ticket information.

    Monitor our website https://astro.nz to check if you event is going ahead

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