Heritage Stargazing from the Observatory Tower


Every Friday night during Winter, 12 April - 27 September 2024

Pricing

  • Adults $10.00
    Booking fee additional
  • Children (5-17) $5.00
    Booking fee additional
  • Venue: Observatory Tower

    Join us for a 30 minute tour of the Observatory Tower and stargazing through the historic Townsend Teece Telescope every Friday evening during winter.

    The Townsend Teece Telescope was restored and re-installed in 2023, and stargazing from the Observatory Tower has resumed.

    Te Matatiki Toi Ora The Arts Centre and the University of Canterbury welcome you and your whānau and friends to join us on a short stargazing experience in the heart of the city.

    Join a small group tour, and climb up to the top of the tower to the observatory dome like generations of students past.

    View the southern sky through the Victorian-era Townsend Teece Telescope, under the guidance of Townsend Observer astronomers from the University of Canterbury. You’ll be able to view the moon, planets, and star clusters, including the stunningly colourful Jewel Box star cluster. 

    Become part of the long history of astronomy at The Arts Centre

    • Every Friday night during winter (weather dependent*).
    • Bookings essential: $10 adults / $5 childen (5-17).
    • Tours last 30 minutes, between 7.30 - 9.30pm.
    • You must be able to climb 75 steep stairs and be comfortable in confined spaces. There is no lift available as this historic Observatory Tower.
    • Please wear sensible shoes and a warm coat.
    • Please arrive 10 minutes early for your session in order to be checked in. Parking can be tricky so leave plenty of time. 
    • One accompanying adult present per two children.

    Book now for this unique and memorable experience, numbers are strictly limited. If you have a large organised group, please contact UC to arrange a private tour.

    Note that the dome cannot be opened if it starts to rain during your session, or if the weather is windy, as the telescope is an antique. If the dome has to be closed during your session, you can still see the tower, dome and telescope, and the Townsend Observers will lead an interactive illustrated talk about astronomy in the exhibition room.

    This event is offered jointly by Te Matatiki Toi Ora The Arts Centre and the University of Canterbury.

     

    Images: (1) Moon, (2) Jupiter and (3) Jewel Box star cluster. These images were taken with a camera attached to the Townsend Telescope by Townsend Observer Vincent Thompson.

    Location map

    Observatory, Biology and Physics,
    Hereford Street

    Market Square Hereford St Carpark Boys' High Entrance Engineering Laneway The Observatory Hotel Courtyard South Quad North Quad Registry Student Union The Gym Engineering Cloisters Studio Common Room Library Biology, Observatory and Physics Chemistry School of Art West Lecture Classics Rutherford's Den Clock Tower Boy's High Workshop Great Hall
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