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Visit to Whangarei Planetarium (10 July, 2021)

Very interesting evening learning about matariki and the visualisation of the stars from the Maori perspective. We saw the great waka sail across the sky and the fish hook catching the shark.

It was too cloudy to use the telescopes but we still were able to see them and learn how they work with reflecting mirrors. The bigger telescopes can automatically follow the stars so you don't have to keep adjusting them.

-- By Jackie

On 10th July, a group of Wings members, families and friends braved a very chilly winter’s evening for our annual Matariki visit to the Planetarium. Well wrapped-up with scarves, gloves and hats, we viewed a scale model of Stonehenge before proceeding into the planetarium (where it was much warmer!) for a very interesting talk and description of the changes in the night sky throughout the year. Combining the stories of Maori legends with a clear view of the full night sky (thanks to the technology of the planetarium) allowed us to follow the journey of the Matariki star cluster as it moves across the sky. It was then back outside for an informative talk and viewing of the telescopes, but, due to the cloud cover, we were unfortunately not able to view the stars. There is, however, an invitation for anyone who wishes, to return on any Saturday evening when the sky is clear.

-- By Laura

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