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Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand Annual Report of Council for 2011.
President's Remarks, Treasurer's Report, Membership Report, Council Activities, RASNZ Publications, RASNZ Section Reports, Professional Astronomers' Group.

RASNZ Council Volume 50, number 1. March 2011. Pp 10-30 Southern Stars: Volume 50, number 2. June 2011. Pp 1 - 20. NASA Johnson Space Centre, and Lunar and Planetary Science Conference Visit. Maurice Collins. I was privileged to be able to attend the 42nd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC 42) in Houston, Texas, USA in March 2011, to co-present a poster on lunar basins with Dr Charles A. "Chuck" Wood of Lunar Photo of the Day and "The Modern Moon" book fame. The following is my account of that trip.
Volume 50, number 2. June 2011. Pp

2011 Murray Geddes Prize - Maurice Collins.
R W Evans.

Maurice Collins of Palmerston North was awarded the 2011 Murray Geddes Prize at the 2011 Conference for his outstanding contributions to NZ astronomy and lunar science in particular. His discovery of "Shannen Ridge" and use of innovative digital processing techniques for analysing lunar topography and composition have contributed to astronomers understanding of the Moon and gained international recognition of his work.
Volume 50, number 2. June 2011. P

A Visit to the German SOFIA Institute
William Tobin.

The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, SOFIA, is finally airborne! A joint German-US project, SOFIA is a more powerful successor to NASA's Kuiper Airborne Observatory, which frequently flew southern-hemisphere missions out of Christchurch. This article presents the new flying observatory and reports on a visit to its German headquarters in Stuttgart.
Volume 50, number 2. June 2011. Pp

Reflections of an Astronomer
Graham Blow.

I'm grateful to the organising committee for giving me this opportunity to say a few words about several things that are dear to my heart. And I hope that you will bear with me as I allow myself a few reminiscences, and in the process give you a bit of historical background of which many of you will be unaware.
Volume 50, number 2. June 2011. Pp

Robert Evans - FRASNZ
Brian Loader.

At the Annual General Meeting of the RASNZ held on 28 May 2011 during the annual conference at Napier, Robert Evans was elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand. Bob is a long time member of the RASNZ, and has been director of the Aurora and Solar Section for over two decades. He has edited the society journal Southern Stars for 10 years. The citation accompanying his appointment as Fellow is below.
Volume 50, number 2. June 2011. P

A Visit to Four Impact Structures in Western Australia
Jacquie Milner.

The ancient and heavily eroded landscape of Western Australia offers an opportunity to see some of the major features of meteorite impact sites. In September 2004 a small group toured around four impact structures in central Western Australia: The Yarrabubba Impact Structure, the Shoemaker Impact Structure; the well-known Dalgaranga Crater, and the Yallallie Impact Structure. Together, these structures provide an overview of impact structure geology, both above and below ground.
Volume 50, number 2. June 2011. Pp

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Modeling Radar Returns from Meteoric Plasma to Reveal Meteoroid Parameters.
Jack Baggaley.

A summary is given of the important achievements that lead to progress in our ability to understand radar meteor echo characteristics and the mechanisms controlling the behaviour of meteoric ionization that provided our understanding of the radio reflection processes. The paper covers the key theoretical developments that enabled progress to be achieved in our understanding of the scattering processes from meteoric plasma. The development of meteor echo scattering theory enabled the realisation of the value of specialized meteor-sampling radars as valuable astronomical probes.
Volume 50, number 1. March 2011. Pp

Earthquake Destroys Townsend Observatory.
R W Evans.

After the 2010 September 4th Canterbury earthquake, cracks appeared in the Townsend Observatory. The 2011 February 22nd Christchurch earthquake completely destroyed the observatory.
Volume 50, number 1. March 2011. P

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Southern Stars: Volume 49, number 4. December 2010. Pp 1 - 32.
Solar Eclipse 22 July 2009.

John Burt. On Wednesday the 22nd of July 2009 there was a Total Solar Eclipse over India, China, and going across the Pacific. A few of us from New Zealand travelled to China to stand in the Moon's shadow. We attempted to view the eclipse from a private site near the Qiantang River Tidal Bore viewing area, near the town of Haining (about 80km south of Shanghai) on China's East Coast.
Volume 49, number 4. December 2010. Pp

Journey to Supernova 2010jb in Galaxy IC1615.
Stuart Parker.

Working on a project such as supernova hunting as an amateur can take many hundreds of hours of telescope time and processing thousands of images. When you are lucky enough to come across a new supernova, it is fantastic to see your discovery used for science.
Volume 49, number 4. December 2010. Pp

Astronomy in Otago - the Long View.
Lynn Taylor.

As part of the Dunedin Astronomical Society's Centennial Celebrations during the RASNZ's 2010 Annual Conference in Dunedin, the author presented this History.
Volume 49, number 4. December 2010. Pp

Dunedin Astronomical Societys Centennial Celebrations.
Peter Jaquiery.

The Dunedin Astronomical Society Incorporated was formed as the "Otago Astronomical Society" by a meeting held in 'The Chemistry Room' at Otago University on Monday the 27th of September 1910. That makes 2010 the centennial year for the society and an excellent reason to celebrate.
Volume 49, number 4. December 2010. Pp

Recent Successful Asteroidal Occultations in Our Region in the Past Two Years.
John Talbot.

A selection of interesting results from Australia and New Zealand are presented. Examples of measuring shape with some comparisons against other methods, atmosphere on Pluto and double stars, and extremely low magnitude drops are discussed. This paper was presented to the fourth Trans-Tasman Occultation Symposium in Canberra on 2010 April 5th. Minor updates were made in 2010 November.
Volume 49, number 4. December 2010. Pp

Twin Eruptive Prominences!
Harry Roberts.

In 2010 October the author followed in Hydrogen Alpha light simultaneously two eruptive prominences on the Sun's limbs: one in the west and the other in the east. His drawings capture the tortuous motions of these gigantic (by Earth's standards) plumes of plasma.
Volume 49, number 4. December 2010. Page

Meteoroid Radar Signatures.
Jack Baggaley.

An overview is presented of the developments during the key stages in the recognition of the mechanisms governing the behaviour of meteoric ionization. Meteors were the source that provided the enigmatic echoes - the fleeting radio returns seen in early radio soundings of the atmosphere or as interference on communication links. The paper covers the key observations and probing techniques that enabled progress to be achieved in our understanding these echoes. The development of these techniques enabled the realisation of the value of radar meteors as valuable astronomical probes permitting the capture of the important parameters of mass, speed, trajectories and physical structure of meteoroids. Much of the work had close New Zealand connections.
Volume 49, number 4. December 2010. Pp

Book Review:"The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science" by Richard Holmes. reviewed by William Tobin.

Volume 49, number 4. December 2010. Pp

A .pdf for this issue is not currently available.

Southern Stars: Volume 49, number 3. September 2010. Pp 1 - 20.
A Fellow's Birthday Celebration.

Glen Rowe. Council and members of the Society congratulate Fellow John Mackie on achieving his centenary. His recent birthday party is reported here.
Volume 49, number 3. September 2010. Page

Analysis of GSC 5740-02196 and GSC 5802-00929.
David Higgins.

During Asteroid Lightcurve observations, two field stars that were used as comparison stars were found to be variable over the duration of the observation run. GSC 0574-02196 was first observed 08 July 2006 and this was followed by GSC 5802-00929 first observed on 26 July 2006. Follow-up filtered observations over several nights were taken and analysis shows that both targets are likely Eclipsing Binary Stars with periods of 0.34730 ± 0.00002 day and 0.34260 ± 0.00002 day respectively.
Volume 49, number 3. September 2010. Pp

An Astronomical Journey to the Roof of the World.
John Hearnshaw.

An astronomical journey to Tajikistan in Central Asia over two weeks in June 2010 is described in this article. The visit was hosted by the Insitute of Astrophysics of the Tajik Academy of Sciences in Dushanbe, the capital city, and it was sponsored by Commission 46 (Astronomy Teaching and Development) of the International Astronomical Union. During my visit I lectured at three universities in Tajikistan and visited three astronomical observatories, all belonging to the Institute of Astrophysics. These included the Pamir Observatory in the Pamir Mountains of eastern Tajikistan, which at 4350 m is one of the world's highest astronomical sites.
Volume 49, number 3. September 2010. Pp

Mutual Events of the Satellites of Jupiter and of Saturn, 2009.
Brian Loader.

The 2009 series of mutual events of satellites both of Jupiter and Saturn were observed on a worldwide basis. This paper describes some of the events observed from Darfield, New Zealand.
Volume 49, number 3. September 2010. Pp

A .pdf for this issue is not currently available.

Southern Stars: Volume 49, number 2. June 2010. Pp 1 - 20.
Murray Geddes.

Norman Dickie. Every year at the Annual Conference of the RASNZ, a prestigious award is made to a person or persons who the Council thinks has made a worthwhile contribution to the science of NZ astronomy. It is called the Murray Geddes Prize as a tribute to the memory of the late Murray Geddes who was the first Director of the Carter Observatory. The purpose of this paper is to give you some details of Murray Geddes' life and some of his accomplishments. This paper is based on the author's address at the Royal Astronomical Society of NZ's Annual Conference at the Otago Museum in Dunedin on 30th May 2010.
Volume 49, number 2. June 2010. Pp

Quebec Visit 2009.
Deborah Hambly.

A visit to the author's Canadian home province during last year's northern summer enabled her to visit a number of astronomical venues. She describes activities she experienced and events to which she contributed.
Volume 49, number 2. June 2010. Pp

Measures of Selected NZO Double Stars.
Simon Lowther.

This paper reports measures of the angular separations (rho) and position angles (theta) of 55 of the 88 NZO double stars observed at Papakura(NZ) and Pukekohe(NZ) during 2009 and 2010. The CCD method of double star observing and some of its limitations are discussed.
Volume 49, number 2. June 2010. Pp

2010 Murray Geddes Prize - Steve Butler
The 2010 Murray Geddes prize was awarded to Steve Butler at the 2010 RASNZ conference in Dunedin. Steve is convener of the of the RASNZ's Dark Sky Group.

Volume 49, number 2. June 2010. Pp

Book Reviews
"The Long Route to the Invention of the Telescope." by Rolf Willach reviewed by William Tobin.

Volume 49, number 2. June 2010. Pp

"Cosmic Essays." by John Hearnshaw reviewed by R W Evans.

Volume 49, number 2. June 2010. Page

Two Images.
Lagoon Nebula with dwarf planet Ceres - George Ionas

The Moon's "Shannen Ridge" - Maurice Collins
Volume 49, number 2. June 2010. Page

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Supersaturated Colour Images of the Moon.
Maurice Collins.

In this article, I would like to describe supersaturated (colour enhanced) images of the Moon, and what they can tell us about the Moon itself.
Volume 49, number 1. March 2010. Pp

Podcasting Sky Aotearoa.
Nicholas James Rattenbury

A podcast is a downloadable piece of audio (or video, or increasingly any kind of data) which is made available by the creators via the Internet. The suggestion is made here of using this system to distribute southern astronomical information to a wide audience in New Zealand. A similar system known as "Jodcast" has been emanating from the University of Manchester's Jodrell Bank Observatory since 2006 and is briefly described.
Volume 49, number 1. March 2010. Pp

Dark Sky Award - Dunedin.
Gregor Morgan

At a recent Community Open Forum, Dunedin City Councillors were delighted and not a little surprised to receive an Award for Excellence for the new lighting their engineers installed alongside a walking and cycling path from Dunedin to Ravensbourne.
Volume 49, number 1. March 2010. Page

A Brief History of Radio Astronomy in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Marilyn Head

This paper traces the individual Radio Astronomy (RA) research programmes, including radar meteor astronomy, in New Zealand (NZ) as a contribution to a current discussion on the desirability of establishing a national radio astronomy facility.
Volume 49, number 1. March 2010. Pp

Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand Annual Report of Council for 2010.
President's Remarks, Treasurer's Report, Membership Report, RASNZ Publications, RASNZ Section Reports.

RASNZ Council Volume 49, number 1. March 2010. Pp 21-40 Book and Exhibition Reviews. "The Night Sky Observer's Guide Volume 3 - The Southern Skies". reviewed by George Odey.
Volume 49, number 1. March 2010. Page

"Portraits of Astronomers" by Lucinda Douglas-Menzies at the Science Museum, London
"Explorers of the Universe" by Max Alexander reviewed by William Tobin.

Volume 49, number 1. March 2010. Pp

A .pdf for this issue is not currently available.

Southern Stars: Volume 48, number 4. December 2009. Pp 1 - 16.
International Space Camp 2009

Gary Sparks, Rhiannon McNish, Rosie Bolderston Each year NASA invites countries from around the world to select one teacher and two students to attend its annual International Space Camp. The camp is held in August at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. This year, teacher Gary Sparks of Napier and students Rhiannon McNish (a member of the Palmerston North Astronomical Society) and Rosie Bolderston (a member of the Canterbury Astronomical Society) were the lucky ones chosen by the Royal Society of New Zealand. They report here on some of their experiences.
Volume 48, number 4. December 2009. Pp

Four More Supernovae from Stuart Parker
Stuart Parker

SN2009iw discovered Sep 15.62 at mag. 14.6 in galaxy IC2160. SN2009jz discovered Oct 18.57 at mag. 17.0 in galaxy PGC17571. SN2009kl discovered Oct 23.67 at mag. 16.8 in galaxy IC2548. SN2009la discovered Nov 12.52 at mag. 15.7 in galaxy NGC1572.
Volume 48, number 4. December 2009. Page

Europe and the IYA
Ursula Macfarlane

To treat myself for my 50th birthday I impulsively decided to go on a trip to Europe. With rising fuel prices and some airlines going under from the recession I thought I'd better not put it off any longer. The two places I really wanted to visit were the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva, and inside the arctic circle to experience the midnight Sun.
Volume 48, number 4. December 2009. Pp

The Next Aurora Season
R W Evans

It has been about 18 months now since the aurora australis has been seen from New Zealand and Australia. In many minds is the question "When will we start seeing them again?" Since auroral activity depends upon solar activity, our interest is really in the behaviour of the next Solar Cycle.
Volume 48, number 4. December 2009. Pp

Drift Alignment for the Southern Hemisphere
Alan McKenzie

Aligning the polar axis of the mount of an astronomical telescope so that it is accurately parallel to the polar axis of the Earth is desirable for all viewers, even for those who are content to go 'star hopping', but it is essential for serious science studies and astrophotography. The author presents the benefits of his experiences while perfecting the Drift Alignment method.
Volume 48, number 4. December 2009. Pp

A .pdf for this issue is not currently available.

Southern Stars: Volume 48, number 3. September 2009. Pp 1 - 12.
In Search of Dying Stars

Stuart Parker. The discovery of two supernovae, SN2009gj and SN2009hm, within less than four weeks is described. The author is a dairy farmer in Canterbury, New Zealand north of Christchurch and has been imaging objects from the inner planets to outer galaxies for a number of years.
Volume 48, number 3. September 2009. Page

In Search of Dying Stars
Yvette Perrott.

Orbital and terrestrial parallax effects have a surprisingly large influence on observed microlensing light curves. The magnitude of the effects can be used to calculate the distances to the lens star and therefore characterise events in terms of their absolute distances and masses, rather than scaled quantities. The orbital and terrestrial parallax effects are explained and illustrated using the event OGLE-BLG-2007-349/MOA-BLG-2007-379, which is a triple-lens event still under analysis.
Volume 48, number 3. September 2009. Pp

Rectifying Lunar Images with LTVT
Maurice Collins.

In my last article I wrote about how to capture lunar images with a telescope and imaging system, and how to make full-disk mosaics out of those images of the Moon. In this article I would like to share with you some of the things that lunar images can be used for in order to learn more about our wonderful planetary neighbour using the Lunar Terminator Visualization Tool.
Volume 48, number 3. September 2009. Pp

Eta Carinae: 38 years of Photoelectric Observations
W H Allen.

Eta Carinae has been observed photoelectrically by the author for many years and this paper describes how these observations were made, analysed and recorded. The paper discusses the suspected binary nature of eta Carinae from these measurements, and concludes from these observations and others that are available in the scientific press, that it is most probably a binary star with an orbital period of 5.5 years even though the stars can not be seen directly because of the Homunculus nebula and the stellar wind caused by the massive primary star's own radiation obscuring the view of the system. This paper was delivered at the "Studying Southern Variables" colloquium in Wellington last May.
Volume 48, number 3. September 2009. Pp