Public Meeting Tuesday 9th July

Featured image Jupiter

Jupiter from Juno
(Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS; Processing: Kevin M. Gill)


What does Jupiter look like up close? Most images of Jupiter are taken from far away, either from Earth or from a great enough distance that nearly half the planet is visible. This shot was taken by the robotic Juno spacecraft in February this year during its 17th close pass of our Solar System’s largest planet.



Index –

Tuesday’s meeting

 ‘Apollo 11’ crewed Moon landing

Members sought to help at events

Subscriptions due

Our next meeting (reprise)



Our next public meeting –

This Tuesday 9th July 2019.

The ‘Apollo 11’ Moon landing 50 years ago


This month marks 50 years since the Apollo 11 Moon landing on 20th July 1969.

We celebrate this momentous event during our two Tuesday meetings of July – 9th and 23rd.

This Tuesday we will be opening early at 6pm with our telescopes set up for viewing throughout the evening.

first quarter moon

The Moon will be at first quarter this Tuesday (at 10.55pm) so the craters will be worthwhile viewing.

Jupiter and Saturn will be easily visible as well as the Moon.


Jupiter will be south of the moon.


Saturn will be in ‘opposition’ on Tuesday.


That means Saturn will –

**   Be visible almost all night

**   Rise at sunset

**   Be at the point in its orbit where it is roughly closest to earth

**   Appear larger and brighter

**   Be nearly completely sunlit, analogous to a full moon.


On-screen presentations starting at 7.30pm this Tuesday will be –

**   the Apollo 11 crewed Moon landing

**   the origin of life on planet Earth

**   and solar flares and tornados.

Don’t miss either of our Tuesday public meetings this month for viewing opportunities.



The ‘Apollo 11’ crewed Moon landing


Buzz Aldrin setting up seismograph equipment. The lunar module is behind him.

The moon landing was watched by an estimated 600 million people around the world. 20th July 1969 – Apollo 11 becomes the first manned spacecraft to land on the moon. Neil Armstrong (commander), Buzz Aldrin (lunar module pilot) and Michael Collins (command module pilot) were the crew.

Image & text source:


A Moon landing is the arrival of a spacecraft on the surface of the Moon. This includes both crewed and uncrewed (robotic) missions. The first human-made object to reach the surface of the Moon was the Soviet Union‘s Luna 2 mission, on 13th September 1959.

The United States’ Apollo 11 was the first crewed mission to land on the Moon, on 20th July 1969. There have been six crewed U.S. landings (between 1969 and 1972) and numerous uncrewed landings, with no soft landings happening from 22nd August 1976 until 14th December 2013.

To date, the United States is the only country to have successfully conducted crewed missions to the Moon, with the last departing the lunar surface in December 1972. All crewed and uncrewed soft landings had taken place on the near side of the Moon, until 3rd January 2019 when the Chinese Chang’e 4 spacecraft made the first landing on the far side of the Moon.

Source: Wikipedia


Image source:


We seek members who can help at meetings

The committee seek help from members to assist in the operation of the society. Our telescope viewing facility has become very popular with record numbers of groups coming to view the sky. Even though this is excellent for our income, the extra activity this winter has challenged the capability of committee members to effectively provide the required service to members and customers.


Accordingly we seek members who have an interest in helping with either or both of the required roles –

Supper Duty   fella

Consists of preparing and cleaning up after supper at our public meetings on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month, except January. The role, that starts at approximately 7.15pm, consists of carrying the supper equipment from the observatory to the kitchen; turning on the zip; setting out cutlery, crockery, biscuits, coffee and milk; making the tea; serving supper; cleaning up and washing the dishes; and return to storage in the observatory. With the exception of the last activity, the job is completed before the end of the evening’s program, which is usually 9.30pm approximately.

Telescope Assistance  telescopes

Consists of monitoring telescope operations at telescope viewing events at the observatory. The role function is to arrive approximately half an hour before the scheduled arrival of the visitors, usually children and their accompanying adults. Assistance is required with – setting up the telescopes for viewing, helping the children at each telescope as they climb a ladder to view through the telescope, dismantle the telescopes and place in storage, help with the astronomical presentation in the hall.

We operate group viewing events from the end of daylight saving to when daylight saving starts again. Circumstances that determine the timing of events vary widely. Considerations such as availability of suitable celestial objects to view, day and time each group can visit, the availability of our hall (we share tenancy with nine other organisations, approximately), and the simultaneous availability of committee members has to be factored in. The earliest starting time of an event is 5pm, and the latest closing time is usually no later than 7.30pm. These times are approximate. Occasionally we hold a public viewing evening which may continue later into the evening, but special arrangements are organized for these events.

Volunteer numbers sought

Supper:        chef

Currently only one volunteer for supper is required on each of the two Tuesday meetings per month.

Telescope viewing: During the non-daylight saving period, from none to two group viewing events might be booked each week. Volunteers required for each event may vary from none to three, dependent on the number of children and adults arriving, and the availability of committee members. The greatest need is of volunteer assistance with telescope operations, but only for the three winter months.



We envisage setting up a schedule of volunteers for supper and telescope viewing. The schedule will be published in advance so flexibility will apply to facilitate substitutes if a volunteer cannot attend on the scheduled dates.



So there we have it. In the first instance would members who wish to volunteer for either or both of these roles please register with the secretary at –


Thank you.


Our next public meeting –

 Viewing – both astronomical and on-screen

Tuesday 9th July at 7.30pm

Fergusson Park Observatory, Tilby Drive, Matua, Tauranga.

Telescope viewing from 6pm

On-screen program –

‘Apollo 11’ crewed Moon landing

origin of life on planet Earth

solar flares and tornados.


Admission to our meetings –

Door entry $5.

Members & children free.

Payment by cash only.

No EFTPOS facility available.


Annual subscriptions are due –

$30 each adult

or $40 each family

$10 students.

Payment on-line or

cash at meetings.

No EFTPOS facility available.


On-line payment is easy, to –


Bank account number

03 0435 0659752 00

Please indicate

“Subscription” and your name.

Once payment is received your nametag(s) will be available at subsequent meetings.


Telescope observing the moon vector illustration design

Telescope viewing possible only with zero or minimum cloud cover.

Happy skies everyone.



Kevin Patmore


TAS large



Affliated With:


With funding support from:


Slooh Space Camera


NASA astronomy picture of the day