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Mount John University Observatory

by Ami K.
(Suginami, Tokyo, Japan)

When it comes to New Zealand, I always think about MJUO! It is the abbreviation of Mt. John University Observatory. When I was an elementary school student, I was very interested in astronomy.

Surprisingly, I memorized the shape of eighty-eight constellations determined by The International Astronomical Union. (Now I can't remember them at all! I've forgot!) Every night I used to observe the stars from the balcony of my house.

But constellations seen from my house (in Tokyo) are limited. Especially I was eager to see the constellation of the southern cross. I heard that I could see it in the southern hemisphere, so I thought I wanted to go to New Zealand and see it...

But as I grew up, I became busy with study, club activities, and so on. The southern cross became a childhood memory. I forgot my eagerness to see it.

And when I was a high school student, I read a web site written about MJUO by chance--"MJUO is the most southern astronomical observatory in the world." When I read this, I recalled my childhood memory.

Furthermore, I was very impressed by the movement of registering the night sky seen from MFUO to the World Heritage. That night sky must be spectacular! I was also moved by the romantic idea to register the sky, which isn't an object, to the world heritage. I've wanted to go to MJUO since then.

Whether the sky is registered to the world heritage or not, we should keep that night sky beautiful. I hope that the night sky will be protected forever! When I go to New Zealand, I'll visit MJUO by all means!

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Nov 02, 2011
by: Anonymous

I was there a few months ago.
I come from NZ
I dont know how long ago you were there Ami as they have a new cafe up the top of Mt john now. It is an amazing place
Many japanese couples get married in the little Chapel by The Lake below.

May 21, 2011
88 constellations
by: Gary Wolff

Ami, I was inspired by your story, as I've also been a big astronomy fan since my Boy Scout days when I earned the Astronomy merit badge.

Even today, I'm always looking up at the sky and even have a special calendar above my desk which shows the moon phase and sunrise/sunset times for every day of the year.

Thanks for sharing and I hope your dream to visit the MJUO comes true !

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