Learn about the science of Matariki and where to find it.

If you want to know

  • How to find the cluster, we show this in the planetarium and we tell you the orientation at your school. We also give exercises that can be done throughout the year to confirm the direction of the cluster’s rising.
  • About the movement of the night sky in relation to the earth and the Sun, to explains the heliacal rising of Matariki and why it is an accurate measure of the year.
  • On the importance of Matariki for the setting of the calendar and how it relates to the phases of the Moon and Maramataka.
  • How it looks like from space, we fly through space and look at the cluster of stars. The stars of this cluster are hot blue spectral type B stars that are spread out and moving away from us. In the planetarium we can visit a 3D representation of the cluster to give students an idea of how the stars area ranged in space. This also gives the opportunity to talk a little about the life cycle of stars. 

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Milky-Way.Kiwi supports the New Zealand Astrobiology Network (NZAN) with education services infrastructure and expertise.  

Beyond our school visit, through NZAN, your students can benefit from mentorship, astrobiology school holiday programmes, such as Spaceward Bound New Zealand Field Trip, Seeds in Space, and exclusive talks from our Mars and Planetary sciences experts. Our activities are undertaken under the “Moon to Mars” banner.