Ularra Orion

Ularra

I guess that on Australia Day I should have been pointing towards the Southern Cross, but the camp site is directed otherwise!

Ularra is an old Gold town high up on the range in Northern NSW. At 1000m (3300ft) its a very different climate to Brisbane and MUCH colder at only 15 degrees C this evening and a stiff breeze to make it feel much less. Brrr…

This shot shows just how starry the sky is up here with Orion foremost in the shot. It’s a four photo collage from zenith to the ground which explains why the tall trees on the right come in from the side!

Iridium Flare over Samford

Ever seen an Iridium Flare?

The Iridium communications satellites turn their solar panels towards the sun at predictable times during their orbits and cause them to brighten dramatically for a few seconds as they pass.

I photographed this one this morning at 4am, not normally a time I’d be up, but the dog was demanding attention and then my Iridium flare app started screaming too! I took the camera out as well; this is the first time I have tried to capture one and am glad I did as the event was bright at mag -8 and passing high in the West.
So go find an app (there are plenty freebies) and have a look – they are very lovely to watch and happen every few days – Happy hunting!
Iridium_flare [For the photographers: Canon 650d, Samyang 14mm, ISO 400 for 30 seconds]

Samford Eclipse

A combination of Brisbane’s light glow and stitching artefacts have combined to
give this 360 panorama of the garden/house/observatory a rather eclipse like
quality.

I love the diamond ring over the observatory dome, prominences
caused by house and street lights and even the coronal mass visible to the
south!

The image is made up of 20 photos taken at 3am this morning and stitched together using an effect called ‘Little planet’ which gives an amazing, if bizarre, result.

DiamondRing

The Centre of the Galaxy

The Australia Telescope Compact Array, near Narrabri hosted an open day to celebrate its 25th birthday today. I made the most of this is a rare opportunity to go behind the scenes of one of the most powerful radio telescopes on the planet, and hung around later to take some nightscapes

This was taken as the telescope was looking at the centre of the galaxy – it seemed to be sucking it in!

 Narrabri

The Goondiwindi Glow

Headed off for an open day at the Paul Wild radio telescope near Narrabri in NSW and stopped over in Goondiwindi for the night.  I captured this nightscape of a very photogenic wind turbine in the grounds of the campsite on a stunning moonless night, The Town lights glowing gently behind.

GoondiwindiGlow