'Star Party' Overnight @ Anchorage

23 August 2016 / Posted by Janszoon Education

Year 12 Physics students attended the first-ever 'Star Party' this past weekend, working towards NCEA credits in Earth & Space Science with a Physics twist. Paul Fisher from the Nelson Astronomical Society joined the 'Party' as well. He brought a big telescope and taught everyone how to read a star map.

The moon was full this weekend, but it didn't rise until around 10pm, which meant the 12 students and 5 adults were able to observe Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn in relative darkness. Other celestial highlights included the 'Jewel Box' Nebula in the Southern Cross constellation.

Other highlights from the weekend:

  • Walking over to Watering Cove in the afternoon and deciding to reenact the lithograph created by de Saisson, D'Urville's artist during his voyage to New Zealand.
  • Studying for 'mock' exams on the hut deck
  • Seeing Saturns rings!
  • Learning that you can even see cloud nebula through 10x power binoculars
  • Shared supper in front of the wood burner
  • More planet, star, galaxy and nebula spotting into the night on the beach!


Here's the lithograph of Watering Cove by de Saisson

Watering Cove de Sainson

And here's our recreated version...

Recreating de Sainson 20Aug16