FAQ’s About Space

Questions we’re frequently asked at Stardome.

Can you identify an object that I saw in the sky?

We can investigate for you if you provide as much detail as possible.  Let us know the date and time you viewed the object, the direction you were looking, how bright the object was in the sky, and which direction the object was travelling towards if moving. Any pictures or video footage that you have will also help immensely. We invite you to e-mail us on info@stardome.org.nz so that we can arrange for an appropriate person to contact you.

When is it possible to view an eclipse?

Eclipses occur during a precise alignment of the Earth, Moon, and Sun, which can happen several times in a calendar year. To find out when an eclipse is visible for a particular location, NASA has an online calculator that you can use:

For Solar Eclipses, visit here: http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/JSEX/JSEX-index.html
For Lunar Eclipses, visit here: http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/JLEX/JLEX-index.html

Is Matariki only visible in June?

Matariki rises and sets at different times of night depending on the time of year. So, it is visible for most of the year, except when the Earth’s yearly cycle causes Matariki to be obscured by the Sun.

Does extra-terrestrial life exist?

Although man has not yet discovered living organisms on planets other than our own, that’s not to say it isn’t out there. New planets and other objects are being discovered all the time, so in our view this is entirely possible.

Did man really walk on the Moon?

Yes, there is huge amount of evidence that shows the NASA astronauts did truly walk on the Moon. If the Moon missions were faked, the Russians would easily have been able to call their bluff! From the Moon rocks that were brought back, the experiments that were left behind and have been used since, and images of the equipment that was left behind (taken by recent high-res cameras), credible scientists all over the world agree that the astronauts did indeed land there.

Can you help me with my Astronomy Assignment?

Yes! We are happy to help you figure out really tricky questions you need for homework, but be warned we will not give you the answers! E-mail us on info@stardome.org.nz with your question so that we can arrange for an appropriate person to contact you.