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Starry Nights

Growing up in Canada gave me many opportunities to observe the brilliance of the Aurora Borealis (the 'Northern Lights'). Many childhood evenings were spent gazing skywards, astounded by the awesome power of the displays. Hence my fascination with Astronomy was given a solid foundation.

I also grew up with the Space Age and, like most young boys in that era, I wanted to be an astronaut. I'd still like to be an astronaut, but that isn't likely to happen. Space tourist perhaps - but only if I win LOTTO.

However, my interest in Astronomy waxed and waned over the years like the phases of the Moon. It wasn't until I arrived in Napier that I decided to get involved with the local astronomical society and really get into it. For the past five or so years, I've been the President of the Hawke's Bay Astronomical Society. I guess you would call that getting involved!

As fate would have it, the Holt Planetarium Trust was getting started about the time that my wife and I shifted to Napier. 'Being in the right place at the right time' is my description of how I ended up being appointed the Holt Planetarium's first Director in 2000. I consider myself very fortunate, because most people don't get a chance to have their hobby as their work.

I've always enjoyed sharing my experiences with others - I suppose that's why I originally became a teacher all those years ago. My "Starry Nights" programme on Radio Kidnappers gives me an opportunity to share both old knowledge and new and exciting discoveries about Astronomy and Space Exploration, and I combine this each month with an in-depth look at events likely to happen in the night sky over the next few weeks.

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Host: Gary Sparks Category: Learning Centre Language: English Website: Visit Programme Website Email:

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