Dunedin observatory puts on early morning show for Matariki

It takes something pretty special to get a reporter out of bed at 5am, but that’s exactly what was on offer in the early hours this morning in Dunedin.

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The city's observatory is offering a chance to journey to the stars, and there were plenty, young and old, taking up the offer. Source: 1 NEWS

The city’s Beverly-Begg observatory hosted around 50 people this morning to look at the stars and spot out the famous cluster, Matariki.

The cool zero degree temperatures resulted in a clear star-filled sky.

“It’s a delicate balance, you want it to be cold because that’s when you get the best pictures, but too cold and the telescopes start to fog up,” Dunedin Astronomical Society president Kaitlyn Martin said.

Matariki heralds the Māori New Year, but it’s also celebrated across the globe.

“I’m from Spain and we call Matariki the Pleiades there. It’s a cluster of stars that is seen all around the world and it’s really significant for many cultures,” education director Amadeo Enriquez Ballestero said.

The society is inviting people of all ages to its observatory for the rest of the week.

This time of year is a perfect opportunity to view not just Matariki, but also several other stars and planets.

The Moon, Jupiter, Saturn, Mars and Venus are all on display.