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The jewel of the Maniototo is seeking to promote itself as a centre for dark-sky tourism, and this ''star party'' aimed to get locals and visitors excited about all things astronomical.
By chance, although the Naseby event had been in my diary for months, it was scheduled to take place when there would be a high probability of an aurora. You may remember a few columns back I wrote about some beautiful auroras seen across southern New Zealand on August 31 and September 1.
These auroras were caused by a stream of material escaping from a ''coronal hole'', a region on the sun where its magnetic field is open to interplanetary space. Because the sun's rotation period is well known, the same hole would be facing Earth during my trip to Naseby.
As the star party died down, excited at the prospect of seeing an aurora, I headed off to Mount Buster Rd and set up my camera. Although clouds were advancing from the south, I was absolutely delighted to capture some auroral beams between gaps.
My delight at capturing the southern lights was somewhat tempered by the large dome of light emerging from Ranfurly. The town really does stand out at night. Hopefully, the impending roll-out of shielded streetlights will reduce this effect and Naseby's night sky will soon get even better.