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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!


est. 1868: Deadliest Rocks

Honorary Curator Rosi Crane delves into the deadly legacy of mercury extraction as part of our est.1868 series.

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est. 1868: Dirty birds

The first instalment in our est. 1868 blog series.

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Combo Copy

Sky Guide: August

Welcome to the Sky Guide, your monthly guide to what's happening in the heavens!

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Ancient Weapon Surfaces on the Taieri

The Otago Museum is very excited by a donation it has just received...

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Exhibition Design Garners National Acclaim

The Otago Museum has once again received national recognition for exceptional exhibition design at the 2018 Best Design Awards.

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Extreme Science Outreach

Otago Museum is taking its commitment to science outreach to the extreme again this year, travelling 3500 kilometres to Niue and the Cook Islands to deliver the Far from Frozen science showcase. With the support of the United States Embassy and Air New Zealand, a team from Otago Museum will travel to Alofi, Niue this Friday for a week of school sessions, shows and workshops that will engage nearly 500 students as well as community members. The showcase includes interactive displays, demonstrations and virtual reality experiences all designed to communicate the science behind climate change. Craig Grant, Director Science Engagement and Visitor Experience, says, “We believe it’s essential to bring this showcase to...

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OM RW Mere Pounamu

Mere Pounamu: Kahutai

Mere pounamu are probably one of the more iconic taoka of the Māori world. Designed as a close quarter weapon, there are a number of grisly descriptions in 19th century ethnographic accounts as to how they were used with great effect to dispatch an enemy combatant.  Mere pounamu are associated with rakatirataka and mana – chiefly attributes and status. Many mere pounamu were named and feature prominently in iwi histories; some so well-known and revered that they assumed supernatural powers in the retelling of their exploits. Mere pounamu were handed down from generation to generation, accruing increased mana with each successive owner. This particular mere pounamu, Kahutai, belonged to the well-known 19th century...

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Worm Pic 2

New Species of Body Snatching Hairworm Discovered in Otago

When MSc research student Zachary Tobias arrived at the University of Otago from the United States, little did he know that he’d end up discovering a new species of hairworm. However in March 2016 he and his then fiancé (now wife), Brenah Hearne, made a unique find while collecting specimens for Zac’s research at the Rock and Pillar Range, near Dunedin. “We had been collecting these parasites all summer, but to the naked eye this particular specimen didn’t seem a whole lot different from the others. However, after having a look at the genetic data, it was obvious it was special. My collaborator Andreas Schmidt-Rhaesa, the worldwide expert on hairworm taxonomy, confirmed...

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Moon 5

Stories from Mt John: Astrophotography Basics

Astrophotography is awesome fun, so long as you don’t mind being up late! But it can feel pretty intimidating when beginning. A good place to start is photographing something like the moon and using it to practice the basics of astrophotography and photo editing. The moon, especially when full, is very bright in the night sky. So, we don’t need super expensive gear to get high-quality pictures! An entry level DSLR will easily do the trick; the most important part of getting a detailed shot of the moon is the lens. You’ll want a 200mm lens or longer for lunar photography and a tripod.   Moon 1 200mm, ISO 800, f/5.6,...

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Stories from Mt John: Finding Mars

Now that the eclipse is over, the time has really come for #marsmania! Mars is so close to Earth and bright in late July (27 to 31) that observations will be the best possible until October 2020. Subsequently, one of the most common questions we get at the Museum is “what is that bright thing in the sky?” Currently the answer is always Mars! Early in the evening you will see Mars to the east and it will stay in our sky all night long. Tonight, the simplest way to find Mars is to look for the moon. It is full in our sky for the next few nights and...

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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.


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


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.