Royal Society of New Zealand, Canterbury Branch
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RSNZ Canterbury Branch

Managed by our council since 1862 promoting science and technology in Canterbury.

Anyone can join or post to our mailing list to keep up to date with science-related activities in Canterbury.

Join us and support our activities: our lecture programme and receive our monthly newsletter.

Find out more about us or our Awards programmes: our science promotion and student travel grants and Science fair prizes.


Direct Credit: BNZ 02 0820 0601223 00, Please put "donation" in one of the fields.

2019 Annual Report avaivable for download here

The 2021 AGM is scheduled for late March, date TBC


Upcoming Events

Mars Rover Landing Day

Turanga Friday, February 19, 2021 8:00AM - 7:30PM

Come and celebrate the landing of NASA’s Perseverance Rover on Mars with a whole day of events and activities about the red planet.

8am to 10am (and during other gaps in the program): Live Stream Live stream from NASA of the landing of the Mars 2020 mission and Perseverance Rover. Touchdown is expected at around 9.30am New Zealand time.

10am to 11am (or later depending on exact landing time): Talk ‘Searching for life’ Haritina Mogosanu & Sam Leske (New Zealand Astrobiology Network)

12.30pm to 1.15pm: Lunchtime Talk & Video ‘How to find Martian meteorites in Antarctica' Miranda Satterthwaite (International Antarctic Centre)

2.30pm to 3.30pm (or later): Demo ‘Learn astronomy online with SLOOH’ Haritina Mogosanu & Sam Leske (New Zealand Astrobiology Network)

3.30pm to 5pm: Interactive sessions:
Opportunity to try SLOOH for yourself
Rocket building with Christchurch Rocketeers

5pm to 6pm: Talk "Why bother?’ Haritina Mogosanu & Sam Leske (New Zealand Astrobiology Network)

6pm to 6.30pm: Demo: Martian meteorites: an opportunity to see (and touch!) some actual pieces of Mars and examine them close up with a digital microscope.

6.30pm to 7.30pm: Evening Talk ‘Just how on Earth can we tell what Mars is made of?’ James Scott (Otago University, President of the Geoscience Society of New Zealand)

Times, particularly in the morning, are approximate and will depend on what happens on Mars.

This family-friendly event is a partnership between the Library and the Canterbury Branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

The Library’s web calendar entry for the event:

Geoscience NZ Presidential lecture

Just How On Earth Do We Know What Mars Is Made Of?

GSNZ President, James Scott of University of Otago

19 February 2020 6.30pm to 7.30pm
Turanga 60 Cathedral Square

19 February 2020

Right now there is the NASA Mars InSight programme to help understand the interior of our neighbouring Red Planet. Humans haven’t retrieved rocks from Mars, but we do have rocks on Earth from Mars...
  • * How is this possible?
  • * What is Mars made of?
  • * Are Mars rocks unique?
  • * Are geological processes operating on Mars different to those on Earth?
  • * What is the prospect that life occurs (or has occurred) on the planet?
I will explain just how on Earth we know about Mars, I will summarise some of my research on the high-P ejecta, and I will bring some (very small) Martian meteorites for show and tell.

James has undertaken university and industry-based research from New Zealand’s Sub-Antarctic Islands, to the Pacific Islands, to central Europe. His research involves examination of shallow Earth processes from mineralisation to environmental studies. He has recently undertaken research projects on the evolution of Earth’s mantle to the formation of the solar nebula, largely from a high temperature geochemical perspective.

This talk is sponsored by the Geoscience Society of New Zealand.


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