Stardate 2014

Wednesday, 1st January 2014 at 1pm - 1pm Monday, 6th January

Location: Tukituki Youth Camp, Tukituki Valley, near Havelock North, Hawkes Bay

This event is in the past.

Stardate 2014

Tukituki Youth Camp, Tukituki Valley, near Havelock North, Hawkes Bay

When: Official programme runs from Friday 3rd January – Sunday 5th January*

You are also welcome to camp Wednesday 1st January and/or Sunday 5th January for a small extra fee

Information on Stardate

2014 will be the 26th anniversary of Stardate, making it the longest running and largest starparty in New Zealand.
The camp site in Tukituki Valley offers a wonderful horizon, away from cloud-attracting hills and city lights, as well as the normal campsite facilities.  Weather permitting; participants will be looking forward to lots of observing time. Many participants bring telescopes while for others it’s their first telescopic view of the heavens. 
There is ample opportunity to mix and mingle with other astronomy enthusiasts.  Some people here have 30-40 years experience; others are complete newcomers.

Even if the weather is unsuitable for observing, there is a programme of talks, workshops and movies organised to complement skywatching.  Whatever the weather Stardate is great astronomical experience. – a chance to ask questions, share ideas, and make or renew old friendships.

Registrations are now open for Stardate 2014.

Unless otherwise stated, presentations and workshops are held at the main hall.

Wednesday the 1st of January
Informal day

12 noon  Stardate organisers arrive onsite

8:00 pm Observing if weather is clear, or a movie if cloudy

Thursday the 2nd of January
Informal day 
6:00pm Social dinner out in Havelock North at the Rose and Shamrock

8:00 pm Observing if weather is clear or movie if cloudy

Friday 3rd January


5:30 pm                 Sausage Sizzle  (outside Main Hall)


Friday Evening             Chair: Richard Hall


7:00 pm                 Official Opening


7:10 pm                 Cruising through Carina      

Speaker: John Drummond, Gisborne


7:40 pm                                 Thinking Outside the Envelope         

Speaker: Gary Sparks, Napier


8:10 pm                 Tea/coffee


8:25 pm                 Introduction to Cosmology                  

Speaker: Peter Felhofer, Auckland


9.15 pm                 Summer Night Sky (audio visual)

                                Takes you on a voyage to some of the wonders in our summer evening night sky


9.45 pm                 Telescope Viewing

11:00pm                               Late Night Science Fiction Movie


STARDATE 2014:                  Saturday 4th January

Saturday Morning


10:30 am              Children’s Astronomy Programme with George Moutzouris, Wellington

Aliens.  The children will learn about the probability of ‘Alien’ life existing elsewhere in the universe and how their appearance would be related to their environment.  We will also look at the likelihood whether we would have been visited by ET’s, followed by children drawing some cool Aliens.


Saturday Afternoon     Chair: John Burt


2:00 pm                 Telescope Engineering (Part 1)

Speaker: Dr. Barry Spletzer, Albuquerque


2:45pm                  Astrophotography 

                                Speaker: Stephen Chadwick, Levin
3.15 pm                                 Tea/coffee


3:30 pm                 Eclipse Triple Dip                       Speaker: Ian Cooper, Palmerston North

In the 12 month period between April 2014 and 2015 New Zealand will be treated to three Total Lunar Eclipses that are all well placed for observation.  Come and hear more about our chances during the eclipse trifecta!


4:00pm                  4,000 Years of Astronomy in 40 Minutes!

                                Speaker: John Drummond, Gisborne


5:00 pm                 Stardate Dinner  (outside Main Hall)


6:00 pm                 Group Photo -Telescope Trail with tour guide Ian Cooper….. gather outside Main Hall



Saturday Evening        Chair: John Drummond


7.30 pm                 Gate of the Gods                        Speaker: Richard Hall, Carterton

What was the ‘Star of Bethlehem’, who were the ‘Three Kings’ and, just who were those ‘Shepherds watching their flocks by night’?   In this presentation we look at the astronomical events and astrological meanings that formed a foundation stone to one of the world’s great religions.  


8.20 pm                                 Tea/coffee


8:35 pm                 Observing Up Night                 

Speaker: Dee Friesend, Albuquerque


9:15 pm                 The Legend of Mahuika Crater                     Speaker: John Burt, Gisborne

The Legend: A Chinese fleet was wiped out by a tsunami caused by a giant meteor impact in the southern ocean. Fact or fiction?


10:00 pm              Telescope Viewing / The Summer Night Sky (audio visual)


11:00pm                               Late Night Science Fiction Movie

STARDATE 2014          Sunday 5th January

Sunday Morning


10:30 am              Children’s Astronomy Programme: with George Moutzouris, Wellington

Astrology.  In the world today, there are up to 80 different types of Astrology.  We will be looking at the difference between Astrology and Astronomy, looking at why Astrology was important in ancient times, having a look at Chinese and Western Astrology, finding out what is wrong with Astrology today and finishing off by making our own Astrological charts.


12:00 noon           Buy and Sell Market

See Felicity Kirkham if you have items to sell at this session which will be held just outside main hall.


Sunday Afternoon        Chair: Garry Sparks


2:00 pm                 Telescope Engineering (Part 2)

Speaker: Dr. Barry Spletzer, Albuquerque


2.45 pm                                 Tea/coffee


3:00pm                  Public Outreach: Astronomy in Schools, National Wildlife Refuges, National Forests, and City Parks".  A Discussion introduced and chaired by Amy Estelle, Albuquerque…“As Dee Friesend has probably shared with you all, TAAS has a very large educational outreach program with many volunteers. I would like to hear about the experience of Stardate participants in outreach.”


3:50pm                  RASNZ APS seasonal comps

Speaker: John Drummond, Gisborne


5:30 pm                 Sausage Sizzle



Sunday Evening           Chair: Ian Cooper


7:00 pm                                 Comet ISON – Comet of the Century?

                                An autopsy by Ian Cooper and John Drummond


7:15 pm                 The Vastness of the Universe in Four Acts

Speaker: Dee Friesend, Albuquerque


8:00 pm                 Tea/coffee


8:15 pm                 Gamma Ray Bursters – That’s One Suntan You Wouldn’t Want!

                                Speaker: John Drummond, Gisborne


8.55 pm                 The Great Astro Quiz with Edwin Rodley and Felicity Kirkham, Wellington

9.45 pm                 Telescope Viewing


Phoenix Astronomical Society

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