Friday, May 21, 2010

Star Gazing in the Southern Sky.

I have been vaguely aware that the stars on the New Zealand flag represent the stars that make up the southern cross in the night sky but so far I have been unable to spot them in the actual night sky. Well, not any more!

We visited Carter Observatory today and now I feel (reasonably) confident that I could find the southern cross and even point out Orion's Belt. And even more importantly, if I suddenly find myself stranded at sea in a small boat with no navigational equipment to hand, I could find south using the direct line between the stars in the southern cross and another the bright star (which I have temporarily forgotten the name of!).
I would really recommend a visit to this observatory, it is well worth the hike to the top of the botanic gardens in Wellington. The shows in the planetarium are quite spectacular and kept my two girls amused. Ally still insisted on talking loudly throughout most of it "this isn't real is it Daddy?", "Is that spaceman cold Mummy?", "Why is she doing that Daddy?" I think she still enjoyed it, I am just not sure whether everyone else in the auditorium appreciated her constant narration.

"Dr Ally Brunt stepped into the Quantum Accelerator and was gone"
The James Cook telescope.

J and some space rocks.

1 comment:

  1. Looks fabulous! We still haven't been. Must go soon and then I shall be better informed to read the stars with my girls :)