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Fri 13 Oct 2017, 2:00pm–4:00pm
Sat 14 Oct 2017, 10:00am–5:00pm
Sun 15 Oct 2017, 10:00am–12:30pm

Where: The Hermitage Hotel, Terrace Road, Aoraki Mt Cook, Mackenzie

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Listed by: StarlightFestival

Venue: Outside Hillary Cafe

Sponsor: Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Canterbury.

View the Sun through the University of Canterbury portable solar telescopes. With a red hydrogen-alpha filter, the telescopes allow one to see the more rarefied outer layers of the Sun’s atmosphere, where the temperature is actually hotter (about 20,000 degrees) than the normally visible surface (at 5800°).

The filter reveals an ever-changing and turbulent region, called the chromosphere, which is characterised by the dark area, sunspots, and bright areas known as plages. On the limb, one can often see prominences projected beyond the visible edge of the Sun.

Student observers will show the fascinating and turbulent outer region of the Sun to you and explain the remarkable chromospheric region, characterised by turbulent gas motions in a magnetic field.

This activity is subject to weather and the Sun being visible.

This event is part of the Aoraki Mackenzie Starlight Festival. The Festival, a biennial event, celebrates the creation of the southern hemisphere’s first International Dark Sky Reserve, in the Mackenzie Basin and at Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park in the centre of New Zealand’s South Island.