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Canterbury Astronomical Society


2017 Beatrice Hill Tinsley Lecture - NO TICKETS REQUIRED
The Search for Evidence of Life Beyond Earth "Not too hot, not too cold" begins the prescription for a world that's just right for life as we know it. Finding evidence of life beyond Earth is one of the primary goals of science agencies around the world thanks in large part to NASA's Kepler Mission. Operating since March 2009, the mission's objective is to determine the fraction of stars that harbour potentially habitable, Earth-size planets. Indeed, the space telescope opened our eyes to the terrestrial-sized planets that populate the Galaxy as well as exotic worlds unlike anything that exists in the solar system. The mission ignited the search for life beyond Earth via the remote detection of atmospheric biosignatures on exoplanets. Most recently, the discovery of Goldilocks worlds orbiting some of the nearest neighbours to the Sun captured our imaginations and turned abstractions into destinations. Dr Batalha will give an overview of the science legacy of the Kepler mission and other key discoveries. She'll give a preview of what's to come by highlighting the missions soon to launch and those that are concepts taking shape on the drawing board.

Sponsored by Royal Society Canterbury Branch and Canterbury Astronomical Society Inc, supported by AMIDSR and RASNZ Lecture Trust.

The lecture will be held in the A1 Lecture Threatre, University of Canterbury. Tickets are not required, turn up on the night.

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The Festival will comprise a mix of scientific, educational and cultural events over three days, designed to attract school students, family groups and members of the public and astro-tourists and stargazers from overseas who are interested in learning more about the stars, the night sky, the problems of light pollution and the appreciation of the environment and outer space. The events will include stargazing, lectures, a concert, an essay and poetry competition, documentaries on the night sky, a photographic exhibition, and more. Some events will be free, while others will have a nominal charge (tickets will be on sale from mid- 2017).
The main Festival venue will be the Hermitage, Mt Cook village in the Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park, including at the Hillary Alpine Centre and Planetarium. Some events may be at nearby venues at Mt Cook, at Lake Pukaki or at the University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory, Lake Tekapo.
Organised by The Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve Board, in partnership with the University of Canterbury.
Bookings see http://www.starlightfestival.org.nz/

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Kevin Govender, Cape Town. "ASTRONOMY FOR HUMANKIND"
Began work at the International Astronomical Union’s Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) in Cape Town, South ASfrica in March 2011 as its first Director. He has extensive experience using astronomy for development during his previous position as the Manager of the Collateral Benefits Programme at the South African Astronomical Observatory. He also chairedthe Developing Astronomy Globally Cornerstone Project of the International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009) and was involved in the development of the IAU Strategic Plan.
Here we have the Earth. What a place! The consolidated image of everything that we know as life – the trees, plants, insects, ocean life, pets, friends, family – human beings. The whole of humankind exists only here – on Earth. This place that Carl Sagan described as the “pale blue dot” along with an excellent description of this planet we all know so well. This planet is the place where humankind has evolved, adapted, and flourished. To the point where we are pushing the planet to the absolute limits of what it can provide us.
Is IAU International Outreach Coordinator heading the International Astronomical union’s Office for Astronomy Outreach in Tokyo. He is a Chinese citizen fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese and English, and his job is to coordinate and provide support to the worldwide astronomical communities, to help them to make astronomy accessible to a wider public. He was originally from Hong Kong and he organized a light off event at Hong Kong during 2009.
Light pollution is a global issue and the situation is becoming worse by the rapid use of LEDs. LEDs were designed to be an energy-efficient lighting device that could minimize the energy impact for the planet, however, LED is rich in blue color and is quite harmful for astronomy, health and the nature. The speaker will also talk about different dark sky actions that could be act on, including his own example in the heavily light polluted city - Hong Kong.

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