Exploring the History of New Zealand Astronomy: Trials, Tribulations, Telescopes and Transits

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Springer, Dec 8, 2015 - Science - 688 pages

Dr. Orchiston is a foremost authority on the subject of New Zealand astronomy, and here are the collected papers of his fruitful studies in this area, including both those published many years ago and new material. The papers herein review traditional Maori astronomy, examine the appearance of nautical astronomy practiced by Cook and his astronomers on their various stopovers in New Zealand during their three voyagers to the South Seas, and also explore notable nineteenth century New Zealand observatories historically, from significant telescopes now located in New Zealand to local and international observations made during the 1874 and 1882 transits of Venus and the nineteenth and twentieth century preoccupation of New Zealand amateur astronomers with comets and meteors.

New Zealand astronomy has a truly rich history, extending from the Maori civilization in pre-European times through to the years when explorers and navigators discovered the region, up to pioneering research on the newly emerging field of radio astronomy during WWII and in the immediate post-war years. A complete survey of a neglected but rich national astronomical history, this does the subject full and comprehensive justice.


 

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Contents

1 Introduction
1
Part I PreEuropean Astronomy in The Pacific
30
Astronomy from a Maori Perspective
31
Did ProtoPolynesian Astronomers Record the Supernova of AD 185?
89
Part II Cook Voyage Astronomy and New Zealand
105
Mercury Bay and Queen Charlotte Sound 17691770
107
Dusky Sound and Queen Charlotte Sound 17731774
148
Queen Charlotte Sound 1777
187
An Overview
369
Queenstown and the 1874 Transit of Venus
421
Eclipses Comets and Meteor Showers
444
An Amazing Public Spectacle
447
17 John Grigg and the Genesis of Cometary Astronomy in New Zealand
480
A Forgotten Episode in New Zealand Cometary Astronomy
509
The Remarkable Record of Ronald A McIntosh
523
Part VI Other Notable Astronomers and Their Activities
562

Of Telescopes and Observatories
204
7 The Cook Gregorian Telescope in the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
207
8 Stephen Carkeek the Wellington Time Ball and New Zealands Oldest Surviving Observatory
227
A Brief Introduction
248
10 The Thames Observatories of John Grigg
271
11 The Wanganui Refractor and Its Remarkable English Equatorial Mounting
292
Pioneer New Zealand TelescopeMaker
315
The Life and Times of an Historic Cooke Refractor
336
The Quest for the Astronomical Unit
368
20 Great Comets and Wellingtons Earliest European Astronomers
563
Thames Talented Transitory Astronomer
585
22 John Grigg and His Pioneering Astronomical Photography
596
Early New Zealand Radio Astronomy
626
23 Dr Elizabeth Alexander and the Mysterious Norfolk Island Effect
627
24 John Bolton Gordon Stanley Bruce Slee and the Riddle of the Radio Stars
653
Index
672
Copyright

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About the author (2015)

Professor Wayne Orchiston is a Senior Researcher at the National Astronomical Research Institute in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and formerly worked in optical and radio astronomy in Australia and New Zealand. He has published on the history of Australian, English, French, Georgian, Indian, Indonesian, Iraqi, Japanese, New Zealand and USA astronomy, and has supervised a large pool of graduate students. Like Tsuko Nakamura, Wayne has played a leading role in developing the history of astronomy through the International Astronomical Union Commission 41, and was responsible for the formation of the Historic Radio Astronomy and Transits of Venus Working Groups. He is the Editor of the Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage.

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