Home' Kapi-Mana News : August 13th 2013 Contents 13
KAPI-MANA NEWS, AUGUST 13, 2013
To have your say in this year's Local Elections, you need to be enrolled.
Do it now. Easy. To get an enrolment form:
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ENROL TO VOTE NOW.
Visit our website
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Brought to you by Electoral Commission
Steam Train Excursion
Sunday 8th September
The Daffodil Express
Departs 8.40am, arrives back 5pm • Adult $79, Child $49
Phone 0800 783 264 to book
More details at www.steaminc.org.nz
and travel with
on a heritage train from Wellington to
the Carterton Daffodil Festival & market day.
Option of visiting the nearby daffodil fields
to pick your own daffodils.
Hudson's one-man observatory
Star-gazer: Gordon Hudson with his telescope, which he built himself and erected in his back yard.
By KRIS DANDO
You're looking back in time.
It's a real thrill ...
I walk out my back door and up
some steps with my coffee and
sit in a comfortable chair.
Getting the most out of a starry, starry night
Gordon Hudson doesn t need
fancy, modern equipment to view
the night sky -- but he has it any-
The Titahi Bay resident has an
observatory in his back yard.
He first set it up in Pukerua
Bay before his family moved to
Titahi Bay in 2006.
An instrument engineer for Car-
ter Observatory and president of
the Royal Astronomical Society of
New Zealand, his passion for look-
ing at the stars goes back decades.
It s something I ve always been
interested in, right back to my
school days, he said. Now I can
look at the stars and planets every
night. You re looking back in time.
It s a real thrill.
And he does, every night when
it s clear, with the dome of his
observatory reaching five metres
from the ground.
With plenty of help from his
computer whiz son, it has all the
mod cons, controlled by laptops,
touch screens and mapping
The observatory cost $30,000 to
He has four telescopes, powerful
camcorders and still cameras that
record on to a hefty server all the
data he wants.
Saturn was prominent right
now, he said, but Mars was a dis-
appointment to view.
I walk out my back door and up
some steps with my coffee and sit
in a comfortable chair. It s differ-
ent from the days when I started
doing this, but the philosophies of
reading the stars and searching
the sky remain the same.
When everything went digital,
the skill went out of it a bit, but
the enjoyment hasn t.
There is plenty of light pollution
over Porirua -- including from the
security lights of Titahi Bay North
School until recently -- but his
massive telescope can overcome
His biggest thrills are tracking
comets and asteroids and con-
stantly recording images.
New Zealand had an excellent
position at the bottom of the world
for looking at the stars, he said.
The sky above Tekapo, in the
South Island, was named last year
as having the largest dark sky
reserve in the world for its clar-
ity.Schools have astronomy in their
NCEA curriculum and Mr Hudson
has travelled to Greece with a
group of Tawa College students to
the International Olympiad on
Astronomy and Astrophysics.
The interest is certainly there,
but it s about keeping that level
up [in the schools].
Tawa has a great programme
going, with 20 to 30 students
involved, and we hope the Olym-
piad will spark even more to join
Vito, 18, with her
Mural with a message
By TALIA CARLISLE
Aotea College student Sophia Vito
has helped brighten Waitangirua
Mall with an anti-bullying mural.
The large artwork was completed
while she took part in Wesley Com-
munity Action Group s school hol-
iday programme last month.
Miss Vito was one of about 20
students who took part in the pro-
gramme, which saw them helping
with community projects including
cleaning Tairangi Kindergarten and
the area behind Waitangirua Mall.
Afterwards Miss Vito was given
the role of creating the mural
because she has an interest in art.
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