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Space weather: Impacts on New Zealand

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Space weather is a phenomenon few New Zealanders know about, yet in the increasingly technological world we live in, knowledge is power.

The University of Otago, in association with the Otago Museum and Victoria University of Wellington is delivering a series of talks throughout the country dedicated to this topic.

Leading New Zealand experts on space weather and its impact on earth will deliver presentations about the high impact, low probability events space weather can contribute to. Damage to electrical networks in extreme cases leading to power blackouts, disruption to GPS navigation systems and knocking out aviation radio systems, to name but a few.


Craig Rodger

Professor Craig Rodger

Craig Rodger is a Professor at the University of Otago’s Department of Physics. As well as being the current Head of Department, he is an active space weather researcher and well known for his entertaining presentations.

Professor Rodger has recently finished leading a research project into the hazard posed by solar storms to the New Zealand electrical grid.

Malcolm InghamDr Malcolm Ingham

Malcolm Ingham is a Senior Lecturer in Physics at Victoria University’s School of Chemical and Physical Sciences.

He has 40 years’ experience in geomagnetism and electromagnetic induction as a technique to understanding earth structure. This includes the effect of induced electric fields on technological structures. He will highlight the potential risk that currents induced in the ground by geomagnetic field variations pose to structures like underground pipelines, such as the Auckland aviation fuel pipeline.

Ian GriffinDr Ian Griffin

By day Ian Griffin, who is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Otago, is Director of the Otago Museum in Dunedin. However, he won’t be speaking about his day job. By night he has a secret passion. He’s an avid aurora hunter, obsessed with observing and photographing displays of the Aurora Australis which are surprisingly frequent in Southern New Zealand. Armed with a PhD in astronomy, Ian has indepth knowledge about auroras and their connection with space weather.

In his presentation he will explain how you can see and photograph an aurora for yourself and will tell the extraordinary tale of how a flight on a NASA observatory led to the first-ever charter flight to see the “Southern Lights”.


Event Date and time Location Register
Auckland Tuesday 13 November, 6pm GridAKL, Auckland RSVP for the Auckland event
Christchurch Wednesday 14 November, 6pm Rutherford’s Den lecture theatre in the Arts Centre, Christchurch RSVP for the Christchurch event
Wellington Thursday 15 November, 6pm Aronui Lecture Theatre, Royal Society Te Apārangi, Wellington RSVP for the Wellington event


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Date Tuesday, 13 November 2018 - Thursday, 15 November 2018
Time 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Audience Public
Event Category Sciences
Event Type Symposium

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