Past RASNZ Conferences
RASNZ has been organising annual conferences for decades, providing a platform for astronomers and space science enthusiasts to come together and share their knowledge, research, and experiences.
Previous RASNZ conferences have covered a wide range of topics, including the search for exoplanets, the history of astronomy, the study of the night sky, and the role of citizen science in astronomy.
These conferences have attracted a diverse range of participants, including amateur and professional astronomers, students, researchers, and educators from around New Zealand and beyond.
The conferences have also featured keynote speakers, workshops, and observing sessions, providing opportunities for attendees to learn new skills, exchange ideas, and network with others in the field.
2023 RASNZ Conference
The 2023 RASNZ (Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand) Conference and Annual General Meeting were hosted by the Auckland Astronomical Society (AAS). This year marked the Centennial celebration for the event. The conference took place in Auckland from June 2nd to June 4th, 2023.
Key highlights included various presentations and workshops, such as a session on countering long-duration spaceflight bone-loss by Chris Benton and an analysis of chemically peculiar stars by Quin Aicken Davies, a UC Postgrad. Attendees also had the opportunity to present their latest research findings and ideas through poster presentations. Key elements of New Zealand's astronomical history were reviewed in a special workshop.
The conference also featured a unique opportunity for students with a passion for astronomy (SWAPA) to attend and solidify their interest in the field.
The 2023 RASNZ Conference featured an impressive lineup of keynote speakers, each contributing unique insights and expertise to the field of astronomy and space science. Here's a brief overview of the keynote speakers:
Prof Chris Lintott: An astronomer and science communicator at the University of Oxford, Lintott is known for presenting "What's Up in the Night Sky" on BBC's "The Sky at Night" and co-founding the citizen science project, Galaxy Zoo. His research spans galaxy formation, extraterrestrial life, and astronomy history. He's an award-winning communicator, having received the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award and the Institute of Physics Kelvin Medal.
Associate Professor Charlie Lineweaver: A renowned astronomer at the Australian National University, Lineweaver's research focuses on the early universe, search for extraterrestrial life, dark matter, exoplanet habitability, and cosmology. He's a notable science communicator and has been awarded the Pawsey Medal and the Newcomb Cleveland Prize.
Nalayini Davies: Serving as the President of RASNZ and Chairperson of Astronz, Davies is a prominent figure in the New Zealand astronomy community. She has played a significant role in establishing Aotea/Great Barrier Island as an IDA International Dark Sky Sanctuary and is dedicated to promoting dark skies and preserving New Zealand's nighttime environment.
These speakers brought a wealth of knowledge and experience from academia, research institutions, and industry, providing engaging and informative presentations on a wide range of topics related to astronomy and space science. Their contributions undoubtedly added significant value to the conference, offering attendees an exciting and enlightening experience.
2022 RASNZ Conference
Approximately 80 individuals were in attendance at the event, with formal proceedings commencing on Friday evening. The program started with a ceremonial performance by Te Raa Nehua, a Whangarei Kaumātua, which symbolically united the two groups. Whangarei Mayor Sheryl Mai delivered a speech, extending a warm welcome to the visitors to the area. RASNZ President Steve Butler acknowledged that participants came from all across the country, from Southland to Northland. He also extended a special welcome to the senior secondary SWAPA students, who are passionate about astronomy.
2021 RASNZ Centennial Conference
The 2021 RASNZ 100th anniversary conference, held in Wellington, was a resounding success, attracting about 150 attendees, including a large number of young people, including university students and "Students with a Passion for Astronomy." The conference featured excellent talks and engaging social interactions during morning tea and lunch breaks, providing a welcome break from the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Saturday night banquet was a highlight of the conference, with awards presented to deserving winners, including Damien McNamara, Amy Young, and Janine Bidmead.
Take a journey through the history of the Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand by browsing a stunning gallery of photos from our conferences spanning from 1967 to 2013!