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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

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Southern Stars: Volume 48, number 2. June 2009. Pp 1 - 24.
Building an Observatory in your Own Home.

Owen Moore. The inspiration for and construction of a home observatory is described. The requirement was for it to be attached to and accessible from within the house but high enough to gain a clear view of the sky.
Volume 48, number 2. June 2009. Pp

Stardate 2009 - A Review.
Ian Cooper.

Amateur astronomers have been gathering in the North Island at Stardate for 21 years. This is a review of the most recent one; in January this year near Hastings.
Volume 48, number 2. June 2009. Pp

Lunar Imaging Techniques.
Maurice Collins.

For the last couple of years the author has fascinated members of the nzastronomers Yahoo group with his lunar imaging. His mosaics, closeup detail and supersaturated colouring has brought the Moon back to life for us. This paper describes his techniques. All images are by the author.
Volume 48, number 2. June 2009. Pp

Solar Active Regions 11017 and 11019.
Harry Roberts.

Well into the present deep solar minimum, we see some unusual activity on our star; activity perhaps last seen in the year 1911. In particular, large faculae regions have begun to appear that are almost spotless. NASA dubs the current large faculae regions "proto-sunspots" and speaks of them as "spots trying to emerge".
Volume 48, number 2. June 2009. Page

Book Review - "The Cosmic Detective" by Mani Bhaumik. reviewed by William Tobin.

Volume 48, number 2. June 2009. Page

Introducing Variable Stars South.
Tom Richards.

The Variable Star Section of the RASNZ was founded by the late Dr Frank Bateson OBE in 1927. Over the decades he made it the acknowledged centre for Southern Hemisphere variable star work. Early this year I was appointed the second Director, with the task of modernizing it in terms of both the type of research carried out and bringing together once again observers and researchers from around the hemisphere and beyond to revitalize the study of southern variables. In this paper I will outline what we are doing to develop Variable Stars South as it is now known, and relate that to the changed world of variable star research. Plus of course a big encouragement to contribute to astronomy via variable star work.
Volume 48, number 2. June 2009. Pp

Three Life Members for Variable Stars South.
Tom Richards.

At the opening of the 2009 RASNZ Conference, I had the privilege as Director of Variable Stars South, to announce the awards of Honorary Life Memberships to three outstanding and long-serving members of the former Variable Star Section. In their roles, the three represent the pipeline of variable star work: preparing the information an observer needs, observing the stars, and communicating the results in a durable and accessible way to the world. Without the long efforts of these three people, the Variable Star Section would never have received the pre-eminence it gained.
Volume 48, number 2. June 2009. Page

The VSS RASNZ Legacy and the Evolving BV Centauri.
Mati Morel and Alan Plummer.

The astronomical community benefits today from work begun 80 years ago by the Variable Star Section (now called Variable Stars South) of the Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand. Some of the VSS history is outlined below. We focus on two 'end products' of these years of work. First, how more than 1250 charts with good sequences have been made for southern stars, and second, the research value of the data is illustrated with reference to one particular star, the southern dwarf nova BV Centauri. Use of the BV Cen historical data suggests a slow decrease in mass transfer with a larger recent drop, evidence for a magnetic cycle, and a strengthened case for an unobserved nova eruption in the past. It is also suggested that the classification of the object be changed from UG/SS to a new class: GK Per.
Volume 48, number 2. June 2009. Pp

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IYA2009 Opening Ceremonies in Paris.
Stacey Kalinnikova, Yvette Perrott and William Tobin.

An account of the International Year of Astronomy Opening Ceremonies held at UNESCO headquarters, Paris, January 15 & 16, 2009.
Volume 48, number 1. March 2009. Pp

The Crows Nest Observatory.
Roland Idaczyk

Planets orbiting other stars (exoplanets) are at present the focus of one of the high-priority research efforts in astronomy. The privately owned Crows Nest Observatory (CNO) in Wellington was designed and equipped to allow participation in exoplanet research programmes. This article introduces the observatory and its instrumentation and discusses the requirements of exoplanet research via the transit method.
Volume 48, number 1. March 2009. Pp

The RASNZ revives its Variable Star Section.
Tom Richards

Dr Tom Richards introduces the revamped variable star section of the society, named "Variable Stars South".
Volume 48, number 1. March 2009. Page

Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand Annual Report of Council for 2008.
President's Remarks, Treasurer's Report, Membership Report, RASNZ Publications, RASNZ Section Reports.

RASNZ Council Volume 48, number 1. March 2009. Pp 13-25 Book Review - "The Awa Book of NZ Science" edited by Rebecca Priestley." reviewed by William Tobin.
Volume 48, number 1. March 2009. Page

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Heliacal Leo - Obnubilated Draco.
Ed Budding.

A personal, descriptive account of the 10th Asian Pacific IAU Regional Meeting, Kunming, China. August 3-6, 2008.
Volume 47, number 4. December 2008. P3

Mt John University Observatory: the past, the present and the future.
John Hearnshaw.

A Conference paper presented at the Annual RASNZ Conference, Lake Tekapo, May 2008.
Volume 47, number 4. December 2008. P6

An Eye on the Universe.
R W Evans.

"An Eye on the Universe" is the name given to the astrophotography exhibition that is to tour New Zealand during the International Year of Astronomy 2009.
Volume 47, number 4. December 2008. P11

Observatory Automation - is it for you?.
Tom Richards.

In an effort to get a good night's sleep and a good night's observing, the author decided to automate his observatory and instruments. He describes his mount, dome including rain protection, instruments and computing.
Volume 47, number 4. December 2008. P12

Introducing the AUT 12m Radio Telescope.
Sergei Gulyaev and Tim Natusch.

A 12m radio telescope was launched in New Zealand, 70 km North of Auckland. It is a fully steerable fast slewing antenna of Cassegrain design. The radio telescope is equipped with a dual-band (S/X) dual-polarization (LCP/RCP) feed system designed for astrophysical and geodetic research. Equipped with a Hydrogen maser clock and Gbps fibre optic data links it will allow New Zealand to contribute to international VLBI and eVLBI research and service. The launch of the radio astronomical observatory and the corresponding educational program at AUT University are important steps for New Zealand towards its participation in an Australasian SKA.
Volume 47, number 4. December 2008. P15

Astronomy at the University of Canterbury Department of Physics and Astronomy and Mt John University Observatory.
John Hearnshaw.

The Annual Report of the Department for 2007.
Volume 47, number 4. December 2008. P18

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Beverly-Begg Observatory's New Telescope.
Robin Gledhill.

It is always exciting being near the moment of birth when a new creation is set adrift to achieve a dream. So it was at the dedication of the newest telescope at the edge of the Robin Hood ground where Dunedin's Beverly-Begg Observatory lives.
Volume 47, number 3. September 2008. P3

Anomalous Flaring in Cycle 23?
Harry Roberts.

Wolf's Relative sunspot number or index (Ri) is the most venerable and simplest of all measures of solar activity. There are, however, some other activity measures available that may lead to interesting conclusions.
Volume 47, number 3. September 2008. P5

Nighttime - Our Environment.
Steve Butler.

This presentation at the 2008 Annual Conference held in Tekapo is intended to provide an extended view of the issue of light pollution from that provided by the guest speaker Mr Bryan King. Light pollution has a real impact on a wide range of our environment. Mr King's talk is from the lighting industry point of view and provides much hope of improvements in New Zealand's outdoor lighting.
Volume 47, number 3. September 2008. P7

Patrick Moore honoured.
compiled by R W Evans.

One of our society's two Honorary members is Sir Patrick Moore. On July 9th this year he was further honoured for his life's work in astronomy by the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom with the award of Distinguished Honorary Fellow.
Volume 47, number 3. September 2008. P9

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Harry Williams (1911-2008).
Grant Christie.

The well known Auckland astronomical entity Harry Williams died peacefully on 2008 May 3rd. This obituary is based on the one the author wrote for the Journal of the Auckland Astronomical Society.
Volume 47, number 2. June 2008. P3

Graham Blow FRASNZ.
At the 2008 AGM, Graham Blow was elected Fellow of the Society. Here is the supporting statement for the nomination of Graham Lindsay Blow as Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand.

Volume 47, number 2. June 2008. P5

Observations of Lunar Occultations of Double Stars.
Brian Loader.

Accurate times of lunar occultations of both components of a double star by two or more well dispersed observers will enable useful determinations of the separation and position angles of the pair to be made. Lunar occultations observations can also detect hitherto unknown double stars, or confirm or reject suspected close doubles. Results for observations of three double stars are presented.
Volume 47, number 2. June 2008. P6

Protecting a most Valuable Heritage - the Starlight Reserve Initiative.
Graeme Murray.

This is the text of Graeme Murray's After-dinner Speech at the Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand's 2008 Conference at Lake Tekapo.
Volume 47, number 2. June 2008. P10

Book Review - "America in Space: NASA's first fifty years." Edited by S.J. Dick (NASA chief historian), R. Jacobs, C. Moore, A.M. Springer and B. Ulrich reviewed by William Tobin.

Volume 47, number 2. June 2008. P14

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Awarua Tracking Station.
R W Evans.

Followers of the launch of the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) Jules Verne on 2008 March 9 will have noticed the prominent part that the Awarua Tracking Station played in the spaceship's orbital insertion. Members of the Southland Astronomical Society have followed with particularly keen interest and excitement the establishment of the European Space Agency (ESA) tracking station on our doorstep.
Volume 47, number 1. March 2008. P3

Radio Astronomy for the Masses: Radio Jove.
Stuart Weston, Tim Natusch

The NASA Radio Jove project presents opportunities for schools and the amateur to become involved with an international Radio Astronomy project. Some first hand experience is provided to assist perspective participants to this field. The establishment of a collaboration between NZ installations and The Swinburne RadioJove Solar/Ionospheric Observation, Education and Outreach program (SUT Melbourne Australia) and the suitability of Radio Jove as a tool for introducing Radio Astronomy and related technologies to Schools will be discussed.
Volume 47, number 1. March 2008. P5

Radio Astronomy for the Masses: Sudden Ionospheric Disturbances.
Stuart Weston

We present an indirect method of recording Solar Activity through Sudden Ionic Disturbances (SID) and possibly Gamma Ray Bursts (GRB) by the monitoring of Very Low Frequency (VLF) transmissions. Also the establishment of collaboration between New Zealand and the Stanford Solar Center, Stanford University, USA who provided a SID VLF Monitor and software. It is felt that this is another excellent tool and project for Schools to introduce pupils to Radio Wave Propagation, Solar Activity and Atmospheric Properties.
Volume 47, number 1. March 2008. P9

The Development of the Astronomy Curriculum for New Zealand Secondary Schools.
Robert Shaw

On 26 February 2004, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority extended the secondary school science curriculum. They set out what would be assessed for three unit standards in a new Domain called Astronomy. This paper records the intention behind those standards, the mechanics of the process that established the standards, and how the Carter Observatory established an e-learning platform to make the standards available to every secondary school student in the country.
Volume 47, number 1. March 2008. P13

The Hα: Long Lived Prominences in January and February 2008.
Harry Roberts

In January 2008 we had the first Cycle 24 sunspot group (see page 9). It caused some excitement but lasted only about 24 hours and wasn't seen by many astronomers. More spectacular events occurred in the H-alpha band in which was seen a burst of prominence activity in the mid to high latitudes.
Volume 47, number 1. March 2008. P16

Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand Annual Report of Council for 2007.
President's Remarks, Treasurer's Report, Membership Report, RASNZ Publications, RASNZ Section Reports.

RASNZ Council Volume 47, number 1. March 2008. Pp 19-30 Book Review - "Astronomy Aotearoa - NCEA Level 1." by Robert Shaw reviewed by R W Evans.
Volume 47, number 1. March 2008. P12

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Carter Observatory Refurbished.
Frank Andrews.

As many will already know, Carter Observatory is undergoing a major remodeling of its interior. Old walls are vanishing and new ones appearing in unexpected places.
Volume 46, number 4. December 2007. P3

Astro Holiday in Ontario.
Deborah Hambley.

After the RASNZ conference I flew to Canada to see relatives and have a 'summer' holiday. I was keen to visit a childhood astronomy icon and take in as many other astronomical activities as possible.
Volume 46, number 4. December 2007. P4

Meteor Streams - their optimum Designation.
Jack Baggaley.

Many meteor streams have been mapped and their designations catalogued over the years. With the advent of greater sensitivity of instrumentation many more are being added to the present list (containing some 230) of identified streams: New Zealand's AMOR radar facility is part of an international project to probe the Solar System dust cloud. With the significant increase in the total number of identified streams the problem arises as to the most useful nomenclature to follow in describing such individual streams in the multiplicity of Solar System entities. A new descriptor to specify stream parameters is suggested which might be used to augment the traditional stellar constellation method used in specifying the apparent shower radiant.
Volume 46, number 4. December 2007. P5

Astronomy at the University of Canterbury Department of Physics and Astronomy and Mt John University Observatory.
John Hearnshaw.

Annual Report for 2006.
Volume 46, number 4. December 2007. P8

North Polar Filaments: Signs of Solar Cycle 24 Activity?
Harry Roberts.

Over 2007 May to August the occurrence of prominences in high northern latitudes as seen by the author through his Hydrogen-alpha (Ha) telescope prompted him to search for the associated filaments, since prominences are filaments seen side on at the limb.
Volume 46, number 4. December 2007. P18

The Big Bang and Black Holes.
Frank Andrews.

The term "Big Bang" was originally given to the instant of creation by Sir Fred Hoyle. This was intended as a term of derision, when defending his steady-state theory of "Continuous Creation" against what he saw as a bad theory. This opposing big-bang theory claimed that the Universe came into existence at a precise instant from what was referred to as the "Primeval Atom". Hoyle's steady-state theory has long since been consigned to the pages of cosmological history, but his name for the "big bang" theory, which currently purports to explain the origin of the Universe, has become part of the every day language of Astronomy. In this paper some challenging ideas about the nature of the Big Bang and Black Holes are discussed.
Volume 46, number 4. December 2007. P21

Weak Gravitational Lensing .
Warwick Kissling.

Weak gravitational lensing can be used to map the distribution of dark matter in the universe. This is an extended version of a talk presented to the 2007 RASNZ Conference in Auckland, with some mathematical background and references.
Volume 46, number 4. December 2007. P23