This November the Pleiades Cluster – Matariki – rises in the evening sky.
The weekend will be structured to provide opportunities for two nights of observation (Friday and Saturday), with the Saturday available to explore vineyards, cycle trails or other highlights. Or you could just chinwag about anything technical/astronomical with your colleagues, compare telescopes and other devices. The Sunday has nothing planned, providing you with the opportunity to explore while you return home.
We will open on the Friday with an informal get-together around the BBQ, and from 7pm to about 9pm there will be opportunity to learn about something interesting. Then we will begin on the Saturday about 4pm, stopping for tea/BBQ from 5:30 to 7 pm. From about 8:30pm there will be music, maybe within the henge itself while we wait for the ultimate performance to emerge in the sky above.
The cost is modest and is based on recent Stardates, and set to make it accessible to families. Camping at the henge is possible yet edgy. Toilet facilities are available but bathing could be stretching it. For those who have been before, nothing has changed but the enjoyment factor remains positive.
Recent improvements in the valley have diminished light pollution, improving our dark sky experience immensely. The Society is associated with the Martinborough Dark Sky Society that is progressing the nearly achieved Dark Sky Reserve encompassing the South Wairarapa.