Exploring the History of New Zealand Astronomy

Trials, Tribulations, Telescopes and Transits

  • Wayne Orchiston

Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 422)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xlv
  2. Wayne Orchiston
    Pages 1-29
  3. Pre-European Astronomy in The Pacific

  4. Cook Voyage Astronomy and New Zealand

  5. Fundamental Astronomy: Of Telescopes and Observatories

  6. Transits of Venus: The Quest for the Astronomical Unit

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 369-369
    2. Wayne Orchiston
      Pages 371-419
  7. Stunning Spectacles: Eclipses, Comets and Meteor Showers

  8. Other Notable Astronomers and Their Activities

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 563-563
  9. Opening a New Window on The Universe: Early New Zealand Radio Astronomy

  10. Back Matter
    Pages 673-688

About this book


Professor 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. This survey of a neglected but rich national astronomical history, does the subject full and comprehensive justice.


Carkeek Observatory Cook South Seas Astronomy History of Maori Astronomy John Grigg Astronomer Maori Astronomy Meteorites in New Zealand Nautical Astronomy New Zealand Radio Astronomy Proto-Polynesian Astronomy Waingaromia Meteorite

Authors and affiliations

  • Wayne Orchiston
    • 1
  1. 1.Inst of ThailandNational Astronomical ResearchChiang MaiThailand

Bibliographic information