As an astronomical society, observing, looking at and practically learning about the night sky is one of the most central things that people in the society do. Observing within the society takes several forms, however, which are outlined below.
When you decide to go out and look at the sky, it's good to be prepared. With this in mind, take a look at some good observing tips.
Attention is drawn to the safety requirements for events
The society's council formally arranges several nights every month for people in the society to meet and observe. At present, there are two main locations where these nights are held -- at our dark sky observatory in Pauatahanui , and at the Gifford Observatory within central Wellington. A third observing evening is also normally arranged as a wandering star party at a volunteering member's residence.
The Thomas King Observatory next to the Carter Observatory, Kelburn is open on fine weekends, mainly Saturday nights.
Normally these observing nights are arranged on Saturday
nights. The Gifford Observatory hosts the first Saturday
of the month, the Pauatahanui site hosts the second
Saturday with the wandering star party on the fourth
Saturday. Special nights will be held on 15th and 16th October. See Events page
These details are normally announced in the newsletter and sometimes the announcements email list, and are subject to change. Please contact the relevant person if you'd like some more information.
As well as the formal arrangements above, some members have formed their own localised sub-groups and organise their own activities.
These groups are informal, and the structure of them is defined by how the people involved choose to run them. Effectively, they are groups of people interested in observing who want to get to know others nearby, and go out observing in their own time.
If you'd like to contact people in one of the observing groups, please see the list of observing contacts. If you'd like to start one up in your area, please contact someone on the society's council, since they will likely be able to help you get in touch with other people in your area.
In addition to having members with knowledge about observing the night sky, the society itself has several telescopes that are available for loan to members. It may also be possible to arrange use of either the Gifford or Pauatahanui observatories outside of the scheduled observing nights. (If you've never used them before, you may need to factor in some time to be trained.)
If you're interested in either of these and would like more details, please contact the person responsible for what you're interested in.
If you'd like any more information about how to get involved in observing within the astronomical society, please contact one of the people listed here.