Stargazers soak up science

Activities at Southland StarDate 2021 included Fun with Science presented by Amadeo Enriquez-Ballestero, with many a mini explosion demonstrated. Photo: Supplied
Southland Astronomical Society secretary Phil Burt.

SOUTHLAND Astronomical Society’s inaugural multi-day event may have resulted in a $100 loss, but its secretary says it could have been an $1000 loss and they would still think it worthwhile.

Southland StarDate 2021 was held earlier this month and Phil Burt said people from throughout New Zealand travelled to the Oreti Sands clubroom to soak up some science.

About 25 people booked for the whole weekend, while others paid for single-day attendance.

Given the success of the first StarDate, he said next time would be bigger, better and bolder.

It would most likely become a biennial event, with a possibility of joining forces with an Otago society.

The idea had been seriously considered for the past few years, and for a first go, Mr Burt said it went well.

“The speakers were all well received… we’ve had nothing but good feedback.”

These included Fun with Science presented by Amadeo Enriquez-Ballestero, as well as Associate Professor Karen Bollard who spoke about the Life and Death of Stars – The Life Cycle of Stars in our Galaxy as well as research at the University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory.

Other activities included a trip to the Awarua Satellite Tracking Facility and Radio Communications Museum, documentary watching and night sky viewing.

Mr Burt said the driving forces behind the event were president Liz King, as well as Joseph Robertson.