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Joshua Daglish at the RASNZ conference. Joshua is second from left in the front row.

Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand conference

Joshua Daglish 11GN —

Joshua Daglish's passion for astronomy resulted in a once in a lifetime opportunity. He writes about the RASNZ conference he attended recently.

I found out through the school that a competition where, by submitting an essay, I had the opportunity to win a spot at the annual Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand conference in Napier. For me, being the astronomy lover I am, I had to take up the opportunity. 

I wrote an essay about my passion, and then by sheer luck I got an email asking me if I wanted to go on the conference. 

The conference was held on Friday the 20th of May to Sunday the 22nd of May. 

There were 10 students from around New Zealand that were a part of this program which was called Students with a Passion for Astronomy. 

The conference was held on every day between 9 and 3 o’clock, apart from Friday where we started at 7:00am. The conference was broken into 20 minute talks, lunch and morning/afternoon tea. 

One of the most interesting talks that I took away from the conference was the measurement of Pluto’s atmosphere and the maths they used in some of these talks was just head-aching. 

There was an opportunity that the students could give a talk at the conference, so I got the courage to go up in front of all these professional astronomers, and talked about my life towards astronomy, and what got me to where I am today. 

At the end of the presentation, which was afternoon tea, just about everyone approached me and said they were inspired by my talk. Even an editor of the New Zealand astronomy magazine (Southern Stars) wanted to publish my talk into their magazine, so that was a big day for me. 

 Without the help of Riccarton High School and the Royal Astronomy Society of New Zealand, I would not have gone on this galactic adventure (pun intended), so my thanks goes to them for everything they have done. 

Lastly I could not forget my biology teacher, Ms. Sharyn Varcoe, for the support she has given me through this whole process.