The proposed project will explore comets that have been observed, discovered and photographed from New Zealand from ~1250 C.E. until 2007 C.E., as well as the key observers involved in these observations. Several of these studies have aided the professional international astronomical community’s research since observations from New Zealand were conducted when astronomers in other countries could not observe the comets due to their geographical locations. In addition, examples of comets that have played important educational roles and sparked public interest in comets, e.g., Halley’s Comet, will be investigated in the project. Historically, many comet observations were sent to international observational clearing houses, major observatories and published in journals; however, some were not. A number of these `forgotten¿ observations will be investigated and how they could have contributed to the international scientific community will be considered. In addition, the people who made these observations and the equipment that they used will be explored.
For more information, please contact the Graduate Research School.