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Aboriginal Stories of the Stars Shine at Carter

15 September 2011

Aboriginal Stories of the Stars Shine at Carter

"From There to Here - 1,000 Years of Navigation" kicks off at Carter Observatory with a talk by special guest Paul Curnow, and the New Zealand premiere of a special Australian sky show in the Pelorus Trust Planetarium on 20th September. Paul Curnow is a renowned astronomer, and one of the world's leading authorities on Australian Aboriginal night sky knowledge, with many media appearances and publications to his name.

"On the night that Paul joins us, Carter is delighted to offer a special one-off presentation of the Melbourne Planetarium show ‘Stories in the Stars’, which explores the way an indigenous Australian culture describes constellations in the southern skies”, says Dr Claire Bretherton, Education and Public Programmes Manager, “This special evening event will be a rare opportunity to get an understanding of the skylore of our Aboriginal neighbours”.

If you’ve ever wondered how the Aboriginal people of Australia perceive the night sky then this event will be of interest. You’ll find out how to find the different constellations seen by indigenous groups from around Australia, hear about their Dreaming stories, and learn about how they interpret constellations like the Southern Cross and Orion.

This event is the first in “From There to Here ~ 1,000 Years of Navigation”, a series of special events and activities at Carter featuring navigation and traditional stories of the stars from around the world. The programme runs between 11 September and 9 October, as part of the REAL New Zealand Festival.

Navigation is a common thread that connects everyone in Aotearoa New Zealand. Visitors or residents, we have all arrived in this country using the celestial positions of the stars to guide us here: a theme strongly reflected in the exhibits on show at Carter Observatory. Carter will host a series of special evening events focusing on Australian, European, and Māori Navigation on the 20th and 27th September and 4th October respectively. Talks by visiting experts will be preceded by a navigation-themed presentation in our planetarium - taking visitors on a journey of the stars, looking at the constellations that guided our ancestors from all parts of the globe to New Zealand.

Doors open at 6:30, presentations start at 7pm. Entry prices are $18 Adult / $13 Concessions / $8 Children (4-16) / Free to star pass holders.

More information about the Under the Carter Stars programme can be found on: http://carterobservatory.org/real_new_zealand_festival.php

Key Facts:

From There to Here: 1,000 Years of Navigation runs from 11 September – 9 October.

During this period there will be:

o Live presentations on celestial navigation and skylore by Carter Observatory presenters included in all planetarium shows

A chance to navigate your way around our exhibition with our special kids trail

o Three special evening events: Australian skylore (20 Sep), European navigation (27 Sep) and Māori skylore & navigation (4 Oct)

o A week of late night opening at Carter from Sat 24 Sep – Sat 1 Oct. Telescope viewing if the skies are clear

o Family Fun Day at Carter on Sun 25 Sep – wear a rugby shirt from your favourite team and get in for half price

Carter Observatory

• Carter Observatory opened on 7 December 1941

• Re-opened as a visitor attraction on 27 March 2010 after a two and a half year refurbishment

• In July 2010 Carter became part of the Wellington Museums Trust under the management of the Wellington City Council

• Carter obtained their visitor attraction Qualmark accreditation in August 2010

• Over 67,000 people have visited Carter since re-opening in March 2010


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