Janine Bidmead – πλανήτης: traveller in the sky

Hi there!  I’m Janine, a starryteller who is working at Space Place at Carter Observatory in Wellington, New Zealand.

I grew up in Derbyshire in the UK, but have been lucky enough to live under some incredible dark night skies in India and West Africa.  It was hard not to walk into things at night as I would always be looking up at the glowing night sky!

My background is mainly in education, which gave me the opportunity to live in different countries.  I then became fascinated about different cultures – finding out about the surprising similarities and differences.  I’m also interested in history and nature, and how different cultures used this knowledge to survive in their environment.  It might not come as a surprise then that my favourite part of astronomy is archaeoastronomy.  Learning about how different parts of the world throughout history used the night sky to guide them in successful agriculture, navigation and provide moral stories fascinates me, and I believe that keeping that connection with the night sky is incredibly important.

I enjoy sharing astronomy stories with as many people as possible, through community out-reach programmes, planetarium shows and chatting to anyone who will listen about all the cool things we used the night sky for in the past, but also all the amazing things we are continually learning about what’s out there in the present.