Canterbury Astronomical Society's Public Open Nights 2022

Canterbury Astronomical Society's Public Open Nights 2022

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From NZ$11.27

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RF Joyce Observatory

Canterbury Astronomical Society

218 Bells Road

West Melton, Canterbury 7671

New Zealand

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Join us for an evening under the stars as you and your family discover the wonders of the Southern night sky with our skilled amateur astron

About this event

Join us for an evening under the stars as you and your family discover the wonders of the Southern night sky with our skilled amateur astronomers.

See our closest neighbours in our solar system, no one will ever forget their first views of Jupiter or Saturn!  Maybe take a closer look at our amazing Moon and discover its secrets or learn about our constellations, closest stars, our galactic core and the beautiful nebula in our amazing universe.

It's fun, amazingly educational and an evening that promises to be, well and truly, out of this world!

So get ready for blast off as we have some great things to keep you entertained and informed this year.

Tickets for our Open Nights always sell out fast - book early to avoid disappointment - Bring a friend, the kids or book a VIP group tour for the evening for your work, social club, school or just grab a bunch of friends to enjoy a night under the stars. Group bookings please contact us via the website or Facebook.

The Canterbury Astronomical Society observatory has 3 fixed telescopes (11", 14" and a 16") and an assortment of portable telescopes, which will be open during our public open night programme for 2021.

Your night sky tours starts with a welcome talk starting at 7:30pm, followed by a guided sky tour and telescope viewing until 9:00pm. Gate opens 7.20pm sharp - no early admission sorry.

Opening are always dependent on the weather, so please check our website before heading out to the observatory. We will post a status update before 6:00pm confirming whether we are open or not on our website.

Further information of our outreach public open nights can be found on our website

Please note that we cannot accept gate entry to sold out events. However, you may wish to consider membership, which allows you unlimited access during the year. 

Tours suitable for everyone aged 5 and over - Kids aged 5 -15 must be accompanied by an adult. Make sure you wrap up warm - grab those extra socks and come along to the observatory for a night of fun.

Unfortunately weather can effect viewing. In the event that we are closed due to weather, you will be issued a  refund and given the opportunity to re-book on-line. 

Important Information regards COVID-19 and observatory operations:

We will be monitoring the Omicron situation and may amend our event to accommodate the latest government information on masks etc.

We understand people may be nervous about attending public events and we wish to reassure our visitors we are taking this very seriously. Bookings are subject to government COVID-19 restrictions and may change at short notice - CAS reserves the right to cancel/amend bookings to respond to the changing situation around COVID-19.

We will be taking extra precautions for the the winter during our operations. We are actively supporting contact tracing via our ticketing system and all events are by prior ticket only. 

We ask that you do not attend if you or any member of your household is ill - If you are not able to attend, you can request a refund up to 24 hours before the event starts, but refunds are not available after this time, unless the event has been cancelled by weather.

If you need to contact us after you have purchased tickets, please use the contact organiser link in the email that contained your ticket information.

Please Note:

CAUTION - Please be mindful of the road outside the observatory - cross carefully and stand well back from the road when waiting to enter the observatory gates

White lights are strictly prohibited at the observatory during operations, we ask that you do not use torches or mobile phones while visiting as they destroy our night vision - we use red lights only - head torches set on red are acceptable - and no bright flashy LED shoes please :)

Parking on the roadside verges is available at the observatory - please park considerately. Please note Bells Road can be icy during winter so please take care when approaching the observatory. 

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