Carterton – Evening Talks

Carterton Events Centre
Sat May 5th, 6pm – 8pm main talks, 9pm venue close.

The Space & Science Festival and the Martinborough Dark Sky Society have collaborated for the first time to bring a series of informative short talks in the Wairarapa.

Focused on helping the local community understand the science of light (no experience required!), how modern LED lighting evolved and the work going on locally to ensuring we protect the beautiful dark skies we are still lucky to have in the Wairarapa.

The talks will be given by international guest speaker Dr John Barentine, from the International Dark Sky Association in Tucson, Arizona – and three local expert speakers – Dr Brendan Darby from Victoria University Wellington, Ellery MacNaughton from Auckland University and Dr Franck Natali from the MacDiarmid Institute.

We’ll also have a display of local astrophotography by Dr Stephen Chadwick in the foyer of the Carterton Events Centre.

Tickets are only available from the Space & Science Festival website and have been kept to a very modest $10 per person thanks to support for international travel from the US Embassy. Ticket sales will support the Space & Science Festival.


The programme will include:

  • Dr Brendan Darby & Dr Franck Natali will take us on a journey through the world of light: From electromagnetic waves to light emitting diodes.
  • Ellery McNaughton from Auckland University will talk about her PhD research on light pollution in New Zealand.
  • Dr John Barentine from the International Dark Sky Association will talk about the associations work to protect our natural night time environment world-wide, highlighting successes in New Zealand.
  • Dr Stephen Chadwick’s exhibition of Astrophotography will be in the lobby, entitled ‘A journey through the Cosmos’, which will be a visual reminder of the immense beauty of our night skies.


Introduction to the Speakers

Dr Franck Natali is the Deputy Director of the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology and a Senior Lecturer in Physics at Victoria University of Wellington.

Dr Brendan Darby is the Commercialisation and Research Leader at MaramaLabs, based at Victoria University Wellington ( MaramaLab’s CloudSpec system is a novel way of analysing the meaning of colours in cloudy solutions like wine & beer which developed from Dr Darby’s PhD. work.

Ellery McNaughton is studying the effects of light pollution on New Zealand wildlife for her PhD studies at Auckland University and will give us an overview of her work and what she has discovered so far.

Dr John Barentine is Director of Conservation for the International Dark Sky Association and will talk to us about how and why preserving dark sky places are a growing focus both internationally and in New Zealand.


Please read the Event Terms & Conditions here.

Check out our series of other events running through May.