New Zealand Community Education Centres

Astronomy - Seeing Stars

Find out where to look for planets, the main constellations of each season, the workings of optical devices and more.


Would you like to be able to read and identify the stars and planets? Want to know how to find Matariki as it "reappears" and what its significance is?

Learn to look at the night sky's planets and constellations and understand their movements and positioning through the year. You’ll also learn how to read the sky and understand the star patterns which inform us of the seasons and passing time.

By the end of the course, you’ll be able to:
• Identify the major Zodiac constellations of the year and their companions
• Describe what Matariki is and its significance
• Read a “planisphere” accurately to identify objects
• Know where to look for planets and see the difference from stars
• Identify the brightness and colour of stars and what that means
• Tell the time using the Southern Cross

There will be useful homework to progress through and a star chart for the relevant months. 

Note:  Courses need a minimum number to go ahead so if we don't have enough enrolments a few days before the start date, we have to cancel. We'll let you know by email so please check yours regularly. If you need to cancel your registration, here are our terms and conditions: "What You Need to Know".

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