26 May 2016

Masterpieces with Dunedin Astronomer, Ian Griffin

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm, 3:10 pm on 26 May 2016

Astronomer Dr Ian Griffin is the Director of Otago Museum in Dunedin. He's a star gazer, photography enthusiast and his favourite place to escape to is Hoopers Inlet on the Otago Peninsula, where the night sky reflects on the ocean's surface. 

He is the former CEO of Science Oxford and the former head of public outreach at NASA's Space Telescope Science Institute.

His masterpiece is Hoopers Inlet  – which he says is a great place to see the Aurora Australis.

He spoke to Jesse Mulligan about his passion for the night sky and why he loves living in Otago.

"Every day I wake up thinking I must be one of the luckiest people in the world," he said.

Hoopers Inlet is protected by a beach bar and high hills and is particularly shallow, so is protected from the wind. 

"So on some nights when you are looking at the sky you can see some incredible reflections of stars, from the water....it can become a place which is transcendent, a place which is just unbelievably beautiful."

The sound of waves crashing and sea lions scuddering, with the view of the stars reflected makes it a "beautiful place to be".

It should be nationally protected, he said.