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Blog

The blog is where we'll post news, updates, information about objects in our collection, #betterworkstories, profiles of staff members and visitors, pictures and videos, and really anything we think you'd find interesting. We hope you enjoy. 

If there's a topic you'd like us to do a post about, or a post that you think needs a sequel, just let us know!

october 5th chart

Look North

The moon reaches first quarter next Sunday (9 October) at 5.33pm, so moonlight won’t be a huge distraction for Otago stargazers this week. This gives us an excellent opportunity to explore and learn about some fascinating constellations visible in the northern sky after sunset this time of year.

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Shed southern cross

Reflecting on Crux

My aim in writing these posts is to encourage you to enjoy something interesting in the night sky – sometimes it’s a lunar eclipse, at others it might be a close approach between planets, or (as last week) a particularly beautiful celestial object like the lagoon nebula. Amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life, it can be easy to forget the simple pleasure of stargazing. Yet, when conditions are right, the combination of a crystal-clear sky and stunning Otago landscape can make for moments of transcendental splendour. I was reminded of this recently whilst driving around Hoopers Inlet, one of my favourite local astronomical stomping grounds. The night was still, the...

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MESSIER 8 INTEGRATE

Gems in the evening sky

At 2.21am on Friday morning (23 September), the Sun crosses the celestial equator heading south. This is the exact moment of the spring equinox, the date when day and night are equal all over the world. With daylight saving starting on Sunday, I’m sure everyone who isn’t an astronomer will be enjoying the longer, brighter spring evenings in the next week or so...

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Moira Blog 22

NZ Chinese Language Week – two early 20th century translations

A number of Dunedin men and women served as Christian missionaries and teachers in China in the late 19th and early 20th centuries...

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14 sep chart Feature image

Another lunar eclipse that’s hard to see

As a keen chaser of lunar eclipses, it’s been a big disappointment that this year there’s been a real paucity of good events. So far during 2016, skywatchers in this part of the world have “enjoyed” only a couple of barely-visible lunar eclipses...

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Gift of Jenny Morgan acquired from Toitu Otago Museum Collection

Recently acquired piupiu transferred in the name of collective conservation

Toitū Otago Settlers Museum and the Otago Museum have recently been gifted a piupiu, a waist garment made from processed harakeke (flax), believed to be over 165 years old and one of the earliest examples of traditional Māori costume in Otago. The piupiu was initially donated to Toitū OSM by Jenny Morgan, great-granddaughter of Ralph Nicholson, who came to Otago on the ‘Titan’ in 1851. Nicholson worked for a time in Dunedin as a chemist before relocating to Tasmania in 1852, returning back to Otago in 1863. He was employed at the Mosgiel Woollen Company as an accountant and first secretary of the company from 1873 until his retirement in 1896. Nicholson’s...

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meteor aurora 20 30

Auroras and the equinox

Something a tad more exciting than the impending change of season has put considerable bounce into my normally staid astronomical gait this past week. The splendid display of the aurora australis I witnessed last Saturday evening has much to do with this...

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Creative Pasifika 365x370

The month ahead @ OM

Spring has sprung, and with school holidays again fast approaching, September is shaping up to be another action-packed month at Otago Museum...

 

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sunrise papanui

When does Spring begin?

There's been a lot of discussion here this week about the date that spring begins. Some claim that 1 September is the first day of spring; as an astronomer, I’d prefer it to start at the equinox, which this year is 23 September (at 8:02)..

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jupiter venus harbour

Exquisite Earthshine

I hope readers had a chance to enjoy last week’s spectacular planetary conjunction of Jupiter and Venus. While annoying high clouds (as seen in the photo) marred my view from Portobello last Sunday, the previous night the planetary duo presented a simply marvellous vista from my observing location near the eastern end of Hoopers Inlet... 

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About

Our blog aims to keep you informed of the latest happenings at the Otago Museum, through posts about our collections, our people and our work.

Disclaimer

The views expressed here are those of our individual contributors, and are not the views of the Otago Museum.

Copyright

All content of this blog is Copyright Otago Museum, 2017. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the Otago Museum, except for the purposes of private study, research, criticism, review, or education, as provided for in the New Zealand Copyright Act 1994.