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284 views 2 people's favourite photo

Mt John University Observatory above Lake Tekapo with the high mountains of the Southern Alps behind.

The location here is renouned for the clarity of its sky and lack of city light pollution.
It is one of the best stargazing sites in the world and in 2012 was awarded a ' gold level ' international Dark Sky Reserve award.
We took the night tour and it was truely amazing . It included looking through the large telescopes at the stars , planets and galaxys of the Southern hemisphere. We also learnt how the early navigators used the stars for navigation. A fascinating tour .
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Comments on this photo:

Mar 22 2013 20:55 GMT mamontof
Cool to stay over night and just joy stars ....stick out only nose from sleeping bag
Mar 22 2013 20:57 GMT 25barb
Excertional photo and notes. It must have been a glorious thing to see.
I like the compostion with the telescopes in the foreground and the lovely majestic
mountains in the background... what a site it must be at night.
Lovely landscape...
Thanks for sharing this impressive area.
Mar 22 2013 20:59 GMT MargNZ
Now thats a great idea Alex .... thanks :))
Mar 22 2013 21:00 GMT MargNZ
Thank you very much Barb :)
Mar 22 2013 21:03 GMT julie13
Brilliant pic. I love the night sky :)
Mar 22 2013 21:15 GMT Annamaria
Great scenery! I love the mountains in the background, Marg!! I can imagine that it was impressive to see all stars in a clear night sky!!
Mar 22 2013 21:34 GMT hans55 PRO
fantastic view !! ...i also can imagine that it was a very interresting tour !! ... in the Navy i still have learned how to navigate on the stars ...using a sextant !!
Mar 22 2013 21:40 GMT MargNZ
Thank you Julie :)
Mar 22 2013 21:41 GMT Papagena
Impressive landcape and Observatory !! We have also one in Geneva which is rather well-known:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observatory_of_Geneva

and another in the mountains:

http://www.rma.ch/anniviers/switzerland/ski-valais/ofxb-observatory.html

Since my childhood I love searching the sky to look at star constellations like "Great Bear" or "Orion".....



Mar 22 2013 21:44 GMT MargNZ
Thank you Annamaria ... it was magical :))
Mar 22 2013 21:45 GMT saffi9
im so jealous you lucky thing :)
Mar 22 2013 21:48 GMT MargNZ
Thank you Hans ... yes navigation with a sextant is still practiced :)
Mar 22 2013 21:50 GMT MargNZ
Just come on down to NZ Dave ... you wouldn't be disappointed :))
Mar 22 2013 22:11 GMT clintonfolks
Fantastic.!!!
Mar 22 2013 22:40 GMT Littleollie
Great capture and information Marg. I hope the farm isn't looking as dry as this, I hear and read that all in NZ are experiencing a rather dry spell, particularly the North Island. and upper South.
Mar 22 2013 23:12 GMT abojovna PRO
Very interesting ... and nice place and photo!
Mar 22 2013 23:38 GMT fhelsing PRO
That does sound like a wonderful tour! I love visiting observatories.
Mar 23 2013 00:32 GMT Myshots
Fantastic shot and notes!
Mar 23 2013 01:44 GMT potterjo
Wonderful image, sounds like a great tour.
Mar 23 2013 04:54 GMT MargNZ
Thank you Ruth for the interesting links and your comments :)
Mar 23 2013 05:00 GMT MargNZ
Thanks John ... yes, we are in the grip of a serious drought :(
Mar 23 2013 09:13 GMT skyball
A very interesting shot Marg with a lovely background!!!!!!......
Mar 23 2013 09:41 GMT MargNZ
Thank you Geoff ... have a pleasant weekend :)
Mar 23 2013 10:37 GMT Hanny50
Oh I would love to do that too, must be a awesome experience, all them stars!!
Mar 23 2013 18:35 GMT bandsix
That must be a wonderful experience, Margaret!
Mar 23 2013 19:19 GMT sheasoru68
This looks and sounds absolutely fascinating...
Mar 23 2013 20:13 GMT T1MELESS PRO
Its great when there is just you and the stars, you miss that when you live in a town :-((
Mar 23 2013 22:38 GMT elsje323
must be a great experience
Mar 24 2013 19:46 GMT MargNZ
Thank you all ... it was an amazing experience :)
Mar 24 2013 19:52 GMT Midworlder PRO
Needs to be on my Bucket List !
Mar 24 2013 22:21 GMT MargNZ
Most definitely Roger :))
Mar 25 2013 10:13 GMT teddybear2
Me to for my bucket list, I just love seeing the stars and milky way when there is no light pollution. We are lucky enough here to have very minimal light at our place
Mar 25 2013 15:26 GMT martini957
Sounds like a fantastic place to visit
Mar 25 2013 19:59 GMT MargNZ
Yes do it as you won't be disappointed Shirley. Having it all explained was marvellous and going back the next day in daylight was interesting too :)
Mar 27 2013 02:35 GMT pauli3522
impressive place....with a wonderful mountains decorating the place
Mar 27 2013 05:02 GMT MargNZ
Thank you very much Paulina :)
Apr 05 2013 21:09 GMT Wildspirit PRO
Beautiful.

FT1