top of page

All abstracts submitted for speakers at this year's conference can be found below. Some abstracts were not submitted.

Day 1: Friday

Session 1

Nalayini Davies - RASNZ, IDA & Astronz

Celestial Sanctuaries: Conservation and Preservation of International Dark Skies

The importance of protecting our natural environment has become increasingly evident, extending beyond the terrestrial landscapes to encompass the celestial realm. As light pollution continues to encroach upon our night skies, the preservation of dark skies has emerged as a critical endeavour for both astronomical undertakings and beyond. This talk explores the concept of celestial sanctuaries and their role in the conservation and restoration of international dark skies.

Day 2: Saturday

Session 2

Yvette Perrott - Victoria University of Wellington

What is dark matter? From MOA to galaxy clusters.

The vast majority of matter in the Universe is dark: we know it's there from its gravitational effects, but it doesn't emit light. I'll review current evidence for and theories about dark matter.

Session 3

Chris Benton

Countering long-duration spaceflight bone-loss.

Prolonged weightlessness represents a significant challenge for astronauts travelling to Mars. I discuss the background of spaceflight-induced bone loss and review recent studies illustrating highly effective countermeasures.

Session 4

Grant Christie

Gravitational Microlensing from Stardome over two decades

Over the last 20 years at Stardome we have made CCD observations of hundreds of microlensing events. I will review some significant discoveries including exoplanets and a naked black hole

John Drummond

Kiwis Who Caught Comets - Let's Look at Murray Geddes

Six New Zealanders have discovered comets from NZ shores. This talk briefly touches on them but will focus mostly on Murray Geddes, who RASNZ honours with the Murray Geddes Memorial Prize

Warwick Kissling

(594913) Aylo'chaxnim, a kilometre-sized asteroid inside Venus

I will describe the discovery and orbital characteristics of (594913) Aylo'chaxnim, the first asteroid whose orbit lies entirely inside the orbit of Venus.

Karen Pollard

Recent Research at the University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory

I will present a summary of the facilities and recent research projects being carried out at the University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory. Highlights include: our analysis of a range of a rotating magnetic stars which display variations due to surface chemically-enhanced spots; our orbital solution for an unusual binary star system; and observations of transits by exo-comets in nearby stars.

Jan Eldridge

What’s JWST done so far?

Since it's launch JWST has produced significant scientific results. I'll talk about some of the work I've been involved in a few different international research groups on the earliest high-redshift galaxies and dust producing Galactic stars. Then I'll end with discussing what results we'll see in the coming years.

Session 4

Tony Cooper

Scientific CMOS sensors in Astronomy: QHY600M

The talk titled "Scientific CMOS Sensors in Astronomy: QHY600M" presents an overview of the QHY600M camera, which is an advanced imaging system used for astronomical observations. The camera is equipped with a scientific CMOS sensor that provides several benefits such as high sensitivity, low noise, and fast readout speeds compared to traditional CCD sensors.

Stuart Weston

Two Decades of Celestial Reference Frame VLBI in the Deep South

The International VLBI Service for Geodesy & Astrometry (IVS) regularly provides high-quality data to produce Earth Orientation Parameters (EOPs), and for the maintenance and realization of the International Terrestrial and Celestial Reference Frames, ITRF and ICRF. However, due to the geographic distribution of observing stations being concentrated in the Northern hemisphere, CRFs are generally weaker in the South due to there being fewer Southern Hemisphere observations. To increase the Southern Hemisphere observations, and the density, precision of the sources, a series of deep South observing sessions was initiated in 1995. This presentation will cover the evolution of the CRDS program for the period 1995 to 2021 with an emphasis on the contribution made by the Warkworth 12m Radio Telescope. This work has recently been submitted to PASA for publication by the Author.

After Dinner Speaker

Charley Lineweaver

All Objects in the Universe

This talk will focus on the big picture. I will present the history of the universe and all the objects in it. I will discuss the origin of the universe, the origin of objects and the origin of life. I will describe our place in time, our place in space, and our place in biology.

Day 3: Sunday

Session 5

Rolf Olsen

Seeing the Cosmic Web from Suburban Auckland

I discuss my 60 hour exposure of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field location, with 20,000 detected background galaxies to mag ~25. After removing foreground stars, using Gaia DR3 data, the foam-like structure of the Cosmic Web is revealed.

John Hearnshaw

A Parliamentary petition for dark sky protection

I will discuss a 2023 petition to the New Zealand Parliament which proposes national legislation to protect dark skies in Aotearoa and limit light pollution.

Adrien Vilquin Barrajon

Weather & environmental limitations to stargazing

How does the weather affect our activity (cloud cover/pattern/movement, windspeed, precipitations, seeing) How does the Moon phase affect our activity Tips to work around weather difficulties How to talk about the sky under difficult conditions Possible alternatives in cloudy nights

Chris Lintott

Session 6

Robots, crowds and the sky : Planning for serendipity in large scale surveys

With the imminent arrival of large surveys including the Vera Rubin Observatory, Euclid and SKA pathfinders, progress in astrophysics will depend on our ability to make use of the enormous volumes of data they provide. In this talk, I will argue that only a combination of machine learning and smart collaboration with crowds of both professional astronomers and citizen scientists will allow us to make the most of what’s coming, leaving the door open to serendipitous discoveries. The talk will draw on examples from existing citizen science projects, including Galaxy Zoo and Planet Hunters, and on novel Bayesian machine learning techniques trained on the data they provide

Tom Love

Zeta Chameleontis - a newly discovered eclipsing binary system

Zeta Chameleontis was identified as a binary system in 2021, at a V magnitude of 5.0, a period of 2.7 days and a strong pulsating component. This presentation reports work in progress using TESS photometry and newly acquired spectroscopy to understand the properties of the system.

James Scott

Session 7

Fireballs Aotearoa: New Zealand's community meteor camera network

NZ's fireball camera network links observatories, schools, university scientists and the public, and is southernmost array in the Global Meteor Network. The cameras track fireballs, observe meteor showers, and capture auroras.

Tingting Wang

Fireballs Aotearoa: from fireball capture to meteorite hunt

In August 2022, the newly installed citizen science meteor camera network captured a huge fireball over Otago. Triangulated camera footage enabled calculation of the velocity, mass, trajectory and dark flight of this meteorite and resulted in a hunt.

Victoria Travers

Stardome redevelopment - reconnecting our manuhiri/visitors to the cosmos

In late June, Stardome Observatory and Planetarium will reopen to the public with redeveloped galleries. The kaupapa/big idea for the new gallery experience is to reconnect our manuhiri/visitors to the cosmos. We have worked with traditional knowledge holders to showcase kōkōrangi Māori (Māori astronomy) and astronomy alongside each other. This presentation will provide an overview of the new gallery experience.

Leah Albrow

Exoplanet Watch and Eyes on Exoplanets

Introduction to Exoplanet Watch: an initiative engaging citizen scientists to update transit timings and confirm exoplanet candidates, and to Eyes on Exoplanets: a visualizer of known exoplanets and future stars to observe.

bottom of page