Dark Sky Sanctuary

A Sparkle of Stargazing

Have you been looking up and wondering what it is that’s sparkling down at you? Well here’s a stargazing snippet just for you. Turn all the lights off, go outside and take 10 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark. Now you’re ready to go!

Jupiter is glowing gold in the NW sky. Currently the brightest object in the night sky, it is sinking lower and will soon set alongside the sun and disappear from our view.

Moving north is a sparkling cluster of young hot stars; named Matariki in Aotearoa, Pleiades by the ancient Greeks and commonly called the Seven Sisters. If you have a pair of binoculars handy, these are a great tool for observing this open cluster. Pleiades sits on the back of Taurus
the Bull. Look for Taurus’ golden/orange eye, Aldebaran. It’s the brightest star in this constellation being an orange giant which lies 66 light years away from our sun.

Gaze higher to Orion, his belt and sword are known as ‘the pot’. Orion is upside down in our southern hemisphere sky. His bright left foot, named Rigel, sticks up towards the zenith while his orange red armpit, Betelgeuse, is closer to the ocean.

Enjoy the celestial masterpiece of stars above Aotea!

Aotea is a Dark Sky Sanctuary

A dark sky is the best sky so please help maintain our International Dark Sky Sanctuary. Turn off any outdoor lights, or have them on a sensor. Choose warm coloured bulbs. 1800K is ideal – it’s written on the bulb.

To know more about how to keep our night sky dark, and why, contact our Dark Sky Coordinator, Deb Kilgallon (deborahkilgallon@gmail.com).

Sponsored by Good Heavens Dark Sky Experiences
Come Stargazing with Us!