Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


Astronomers’ sights set on December 1

November 23 2004

Astronomers’ sights set on December 1

The official opening of a new multi-million dollar telescope facility at the University of Canterbury’s Mt John University Observatory will take place on Wednesday, 1 December.

The $7 million telescope, which has been paid for by the Japanese government, has been installed in a purpose-built building funded by Tekapo company Earth and Sky Ltd, which will have access to the observatory for its tourism operation.

The new telescope facility will be used for the Microlensing Observations in Astrophysics (MOA) Project - an international collaboration involving Nagoya University in Japan and the University of Canterbury, as well as Auckland, Victoria and Massey universities.

It was developed to try and determine the origin of Dark Matter, one of astronomy's greatest puzzles.

Last year the project contributed to the discovery of an extrasolar planet using a telescope which has been in use at the Mt John University Observatory since 1975.

The new, significantly stronger telescope will improve the likelihood of detecting faint light in space and will be used solely for the MOA Project.

The building to house the telescope has been funded by local Tekapo company, Earth and Sky Ltd. The University and Earth and Sky Ltd have entered into an agreement allowing for a tourist venture on Mt John in exchange for funding the cost of the new building.

Festivities on opening day will begin at midday with a luncheon at the Godley Resort Hotel, Tekapo, before the official opening ceremony from 2pm at the observatory.

There will be further speeches and an afternoon tea from 3:30pm in the Community Hall at Tekapo.

Official guests will include eminent astrophysicist Sir Ian Axford, who pioneered solar-terrestrial sciences and was New Zealand Scientist of the Year in 1995.

The President of Nagoya University, Professor Shinichi Hirano and Japan’s New Zealand Ambassador, His Excellency Mr Masaki Saito, will also be attending.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Voluntary Administration: Renaissance Brewing Up For Sale

Renaissance Brewing, the first local company to raise capital through equity crowdfunding, is up for sale after cash flow woes and product management issues led to the appointment of voluntary administrators. More>>


Approval: Northern Corridor Decision Released

The approval gives the green light to construction of the last link of Auckland’s Western Ring Route, providing an alternative route from South Auckland to the North Shore. More>>


Media Mega Merger: Full Steam Ahead For Appeal

New Zealand's two largest news publishers have confirmed they are committed to pursuing their appeal against the Commerce Commission's rejection of the proposal to merge their operations. More>>

Crown Accounts: $4.1 Billion Surplus

The New Zealand Government has achieved its third fiscal surplus in a row with the Crown accounts for the year ended 30 June 2017 showing an OBEGAL surplus of $4.1 billion, $2.2 billion stronger than last year, Finance Minister Steven Joyce says. More>>


Mycoplasma Bovis: One New Property Tests Positive

The newly identified property... was already under a Restricted Place notice under the Biosecurity Act. More>>

Accounting Scandal: Suspension Of Fuji Xerox From All-Of-Government Contract

General Manager of New Zealand Government Procurement John Ivil says, “FXNZ has been formally suspended from the Print Technology and Associated Services (PTAS) contract and terminated from the Office Supplies contract.” More>>