Graze logo

   The following is reprinted for RASNZ newsletter No 170     20 Feb 2015   
 Steve Kerr to Direct the Occultation Section
The RASNZ Council has appointed Steve Kerr be the Director of the 
Occultation Section.  Steve succeeds the late Graham Blow who founded the 
Section. By way of introduction Steve has provided the following 
biographical note.
I am an Industrial Chemist by training and profession working in the 
electricity generation industry and based at Rockhampton in central 
Queensland, Australia. I consider myself to have been an amateur 
astronomer since the age of 10 and my early mentors were involved in 
occultation observing and other forms of 'scientific' observational 
astronomy.  My earliest formal contact with the RASNZ
Occultation Section was in 1984 when I commenced timing the eclipse 
disappearance and reappearances of the Galilean satellites of Jupiter for 
Brian Loader as part of the program he was running for the Jet Propulsion 
Laboratory (JPL). I continued making these observations through until 

It was not until the late 1990's (after finishing my Chemistry Degree and 
getting a job) that I made direct contact with Graham Blow and commenced 
making observations of other sorts of occultation phenomena - specifically 
lunar and  asteroidal occultations.  Graham almost immediately got me 
involved with the section's newly created website and for a number of 
years, I was responsible for all site updates and data management.  This 
extended to preparing notes for the section circular relating to 
asteroidal occultations. Most of these activities (and in fact most 
astronomy in general) had to stop in 2001 when I became a 

Since then, my involvement in the RASNZ Occultation Section has been in:
- active observer of asteroidal occultations with less emphasis on lunar 
- attended all of the Trans-Tasman Symposia on Occultations (TTSO's) to 
usually making presentations and acting as convenor for TTSO6 in Brisbane 
in 2012.
- writing a semi-regular column for Australian Sky and Telescope on 
occultations with strong reference back to the RASNZ Section.

Beyond occultation astronomy, I have been an active variable star observer 
both for the RASNZ VSS under Dr Frank Bateson and more recently with 
Variable Stars South.  I also operate a semi automatic video meteor 
observation program as part of the IMO (International Meteor Organisation) 
video observing program.  I am a member of the AAQ (Astronomical 
Association of Queensland) and promote occultation observing within that 

Graham Blow has often discussed Occultation Section matters when we caught 
up over the years - we first met face to face in 2003.  I must say I was 
shocked and very humbled when he broke the news to me of his medical 
condition and that he was considering nominating myself as a possible next 
director for the Section.  I fully realise that these are enormous shoes 
to fill but also that Graham has cultivated a very effective network of 
people across New Zealand and Australia that together make the Section's 
activities possible.  This network of volunteers will be critical going in 
to the future.  On that basis, I am prepared to take on the role of the 
Director should the Council see fit.

Site Map
Home Page

What's an Occultation?


The RASNZ Occultation Section (RASNZ/OS) is one of several Observing Sections of the Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand. The Occultation Section was formed in 1977 to promote all forms of occultation observing throughout Australia, New Zealand and the Southwest Pacific, and to provide a centralised focus for collecting observations and providing news and feedback to members. Current members reside throughout Australia and New Zealand.


The Section offers a number of both free and subscriber-only benefits to observers and others interested in occultations throughout Australia and New Zealand These include:

Free Benefits:

  • The comprehensive website which you are currenly visiting. The site provides a wealth of information for anyone interested in the topic of occultations. In particular it lists minor planet occultation predictions, updates and preliminary reductions for minor planet occultations, tables of bright total and grazing occultations for the major cities of Australasia, upcoming occultations of double stars, and much more. It describes how you can contribute, the equipment necessary, where your results go and how you can stay in touch with the occultation community.  Also availabe is a comprehensive manual on how to record and analyse occultations recorded using video.
  • Access to the RASNZOccultations Yahoo group: Many observers use this group to report on observations, plan events, and keep in touch. You can join here:

  • Free monthly alerts services by email for minor planet occultations and other events. To subscribe please contact Director.

Benefits only available through Subscription:

Sample issues of recent News Circular are available from our Publications page.

How to Subscribe:

Subscriptions are $NZ35.00 per calendar year and include both our Circulars and the Journal for Occultation Astronomy. (If you are joining late in the year please contact us to see whether a discount applies).

To subscribe:

  1. Download our membership form (RTF) available as an RTF document. This should be readable by almost any text editor. If it is not you can also use our membership form (TXT) in plain text.
    Please save the form to your computer, fill out the information requested, and send it by email to: or by snail mail to the address below.

  2. If you live in New Zealand you can subscribe by:

    Cheque - Made out to the RASNZ Occultation Section and sent to the RASNZ Occultation Section, P.O. Box 3181, Wellington.

    Direct Credit - To our bank account: BNZ Acct #02-0506-0132094-00. Please ensure you include your name in the Reference column.

  3. If you live outside New Zealand you can subscribe by PayPal.

    The email address payment should be made to is:

    SUBSCIBE USING PAYPAL (Opens in new window; Requires one-time registration with PayPal; If you are asked, please choose the "Good or Service" option).

    If you do not wish to use PayPal please contact us to discuss alternative methods.

NOTE: The Occultation Section welcomes any additional donations you may care to make at any time!



Correspondence should be addressed: P.O. Box 3181
New Zealand

Email: Director

Steve Kerr
22 Green Avenue, Glenlee QLD 4711, Australia,
Ph: +61-7-49361748
Email: Steve Kerr

Assistant Director;
Total and Grazing
Lunar Occultations
Brian Loader
14 Craigieburn Street
Darfield, 8172
New Zealand
Ph: +64-3-318-7659
Email: Brian Loader

Planetary Occultations

John Talbot
3 Hughes St
Waikanae Beach
New Zealand
Ph/Fax: +64-4-293-4620
Email: John Talbot

[Site Map] [What's an Occultation?]
[Total Occultations] [Grazing Occultations] [Planetary Occultations] [Jovian Satellite Eclipses]
[Timing Occultations] [Reporting Observations] [Coming Events] [Software]
[About Us] [Publications] [Membership] [Links]

[Top of Page][Return to Home Page]