Say hello to Samford Valley Solar Observatory! It all came as a bit of a rush as a 3.5m Sirius dome cam available moments before the COVID-19 lockdown. A mad rush to NSW followed by some excellent local concrete work and a permanent place for the Solar scopes is born 🙂
I recorded this close approach of asteroid 1999KW4 flying by the other night. I’ve finally worked out how to set my mount to track the asteroid itself and made this video as it glided safely past. BTW, its listed as a potentially hazardous object (PHO) because it can come within 7,500,000 km of earth at some time, which seels a long way, but is actually close enough to be of some concern should its orbit ever get changed!
2019 got off to a nice start with a splendid crossing of the sun by the off planet proportion of the human race, the crew of the International Space Station. It was a nice close event too, and lovely conditions allowed for this lovely detailed image. Oh, and ahem, it got picked for Solar Activities Pic of the Day. Thanks Team 🙂
Ok, some others may disagree with that, but I’m pleased to announce that I was kindly awarded the Erwin Van Der Velden memorial trophy for best widefield Astro photo for the second time this Astrofest.
I’m very happy that this massive panorama of 42 shots, somewhat cut down, won. The outback town in deepest Qld that it was taken is called Boulia and is a most exceptionally remote place to visit!
OK, I had a daft idea yesterday. It struck me that all planets, dwarf included, are huddled on this side of the sun and potentially visible at some point during the night.
So on Brisbane’s coldest night of the year so far, I pulled an all-nighter.
I did plan to do a nice wide field observatory shot for “Earth” but at 5am I was just too knackered so you’re stuck with a selfie which is all I could manage!
I do take a lot of star-trails photos!
Not only do I like the dramatic effect of the trails themselves, but there is a certain mystery in the end result caused by stray light from unexpected sources. This photo was no exception with extra drama being added by the road-trains crossing the Nullarbor Plain 24/7. Taken on the WA/SA border over four hours, this image really captures the spectacular landscape of the area and how humans have impacted it.
Tucked away in outback Western Australia is a very bizarre but ultimately engaging art installation by the British artist Anthony Gormley. Over 50 locals from the town of Menzies stripped naked to be scanned and used ad the basis of these weird figures scattered across Lake Ballard.
Spoiler Alert: The moon won!
And occultation of a bright star by the moon is a rare sight indeed. Australasians were treated to a tussle with Regulus on the 4th of May and I was lucky to have perfect conditions in Woomera, South Australia where I found my self three months into a 12 month adventure around Oz.
Armed with my trusty portable occultation timing kit and a modified 60mm binocular objective I was able to record the event. Of course, the view was much nicer ‘live’ through an unmodified set of Bino’s!
There is no greater honour, than to be judged by your friends and fellow Qld astronomers. My Nightscape “Reach for the Stars” won the Erwin van der Velden Memorial Trophy for Non-Telescope Astrophotography 2016 at Queensland Astrofest. Here’s how it was done: