Dr Stephen Chadwick
Stephen Chadwick moved to Himatangi Beach, in rural Manawatu, from England in 2004. ‘I’d never really noticed the night sky before, having mainly lived in large cities in the Northern Hemisphere, but seeing the heart of the Milky Way and the Magellanic Clouds high in the sky on my first night in New Zealand blew me away’. Within a few months Stephen had bought a small telescope and, having seen that even a cheap camera could capture colour in objects that only appeared monochrome through the eyepiece, became hooked on astrophotography.
His book, Imaging the Southern Sky, was the first dedicated to photographing deep-sky objects in the Southern Hemisphere. Published in 2011 it had a foreword by Sir Patrick Moore, written just a few weeks before he died. Since then, Stephen’s deep-sky images have appeared in international magazines, scientific journals and have been used on BBC TV. As a day job he lectures in astronomy and philosophy at Massey University in Palmerston North, including the teaching of both theoretical and practical astrophotography.
Stephen enjoys inspiring the public to take an interest in astronomy, through combining scientific information with aesthetically beautiful images of astronomical objects. To this end, he has staged exhibitions of his astrophotography, and held presentations showcasing his images with live musical accompaniment, throughout New Zealand. He also hosts the annual New Zealand Astrophotography Weekend, and was active in the establishment of Niue as the world’s first dark sky nation in 2020.