Wellington Astronomical Society

Wellington Astronomical Society

How to get involved

As a member, you're able to get involved with the various astronomy-related things that other members help arrange. Below are some of the things you can do, and how to do them.

If you'd like to join the Wellington Astronomical Society, please click here.

Borrowing a telescope

WAS owns a number of different telescopes. We have the following telescopes available for hire to members:

Please note that due to the nature and expense of the equipment involved, we impose some rules for telescope rentals:

Rules for telescope rentals

  1. Current WAS members can borrow telescopes from the Society for a period of up to three calendar months.

  2. Telescopes can be booked by contacting Chris Mongatti.

  3. Upon collection of the telescope, payment of a deposit of $20 is required. The deposit will be returned if the telescope is returned undamaged, with nothing missing, and on time.

  4. Telescopes must be returned at the end of three months (or earlier). The borrower should contact Chris Mongatti at this time to arrange return of the telescope.

  5. Damage to the telescope, will incur loss of the $20 deposit.

  6. The telescopes are valuable assets, and borrowers are expected to treat them carefully.

  7. The telescopes are for the benefit of all WAS members. These rules are designed to ensure that as many members as possible have access to the telescopes.

Star parties

Each month we hold a star party at Tawa college. We have a number of different telescopes available to play with and there will be knowledgeable people to talk to. Non members and visitor are welcome, and bring the kids.

This are normally held on the Saturday night following our monthly meeting but the date can vary depending on other activities and the weather. The date of this event can be found in the newsletter, or elsewhere on this site..

However, because the details sometimes change and often the weather is unpredictable, please feel welcome to contact us if you're planning on coming along.

Astronomical events like meteor showers and occultations don't usually fit in with our schedule, so we sometimes arrange other events on nights that aren't Saturday. Please keep an eye on the newsletter.

In addition, organised group observing parties are held by other groups around the Wellington region. The WAS news letter will have detailed information.

Local observing groups


Several WAS members have expressed interest in forming and astrophotography group. Please contact us if you are interested.

Research groups

WAS member are involved in observing Occultations and Variable Stars. These are areas of astronomy where amateur astronomers can make a valuable contribution to ongoing research.

Occultations are when an object passes in front of another. Such as an asteroid or the moon passing in front of a star. By observing these events it can tell us a lot about the objects involved.

Many stars do not have a constant brightness. By observing how the light from a start varies with time it can us a lot of information about the star.

If you are interested in learning more about these research areas then contact us. We have a research group meeting half an hour before each monthly meeting. You are welcome to come along.


Currently WAS does not have a permanent observatory. However we have recently had a substantial bequest which will allow up to establish an observatory. Watch this space for further details.

Using the library

We have a growing collection of astronomy-related newsletters, magazines and other space-related media from which members can borrow. Unfortunately we don't have home for the library so this material is currently in storage. If there is something you want to borrow please contact us.

Contributing to the newsletter

Eleven times a year, members receive a newsletter from the society. The newsletter is full of articles by members, and developing news about the society in general.

Letters, tips, and small articles are welcome for publication. The deadline for submissions is the 12th of the month, and it's sent around 10 days before meetings.

Contributions by email are preferred, sent to the newsletter editor. If this is not possible, they can be mailed to The Editor, Wellington Astronomical Society, PO Box 3126, Wellington.

Publication is at the discretion of the editor, but every effort will be made to include submissions.

[<<< front page | top of page]