The Canterbury Astronomical Society (CAS) is one of the largest astronomical society in the South Island, with a membership of approximately 90 members. We meet monthly at the University of Canterbury on the third Tuesday of the month, you can find more details on the Calendar | Canterbury Astronomical Society On the Saturday immediately following the monthly meeting of the society, there is a gathering at the Society's observatory sited 18 km to the west at West Melton just outside of Christchurch City. This gathering gives new astronomers the chance to get help with their telescopes or with locating objects. More experienced observers are usually on hand to help out. The Saturday meeting night nearest the shortest day marks the Society's famous Mid-Winter Starparty, a celebration marking the time of Matariki - the Maori New Year. After a barbeque, we light the bonfire, get out the marshmallows and open the CAS secret recipe mulled wine to keep out the winter chill for a fun-filled evening under the stars. The R.F. Joyce Observatory, at West Melton, is privately owned by the Society and contains a number of telescopes including a 14.5" Cassegrain reflecting telescope, which are used for photography, visual and photometric observing. Our other telescopes include a 12" Meade LX200, a 24" Dobsonian for those interested in deep sky observing, and a 16" Meade RCX400, which together give us superb light-gathering capacity. A number of other portable/Dobsonian telescopes are also used for the numerous groups we have visiting us. The observatory site includes, in addition to the domes, a meeting room with kitchen facilities and an adjacent toilet block. Joining is as simple as completing the membership form and upon successful entry, paying the appropriate subscription fee. See CAS Membership for details.