Tag Archives: Perth Observatory

Perth Observatory Night Sky Tour

Here I am again at the Perth Observatory, on a nice winter night with the Milky Way high in the eastern sky.

Friday 28th June I found myself yet again at the Perth Observatory, this time hosting a tour as a volunteer. Here is a photograph showing the beautiful winter Milky Way core rising in the east above one of the telescope domes that is used for public viewing.

This photograph of the Milky Way was a quick snap using my Fuji X-E2. It is a single 15 second exposure and uses my Samyang 12mm f/2.0 lens. No tracking, just my dodgy old 20 year old flimsy but very easy to cary “always in the boot of the car” tripod. 🙂

My next group workshop coming up is the Milky Way image processing workshop with Stargarzer Club WA on the 13th July.

A lucky meteor at Perth Observatory

A lucky meteor at Perth Observatory.

Recently hosting a tour at Perth Observatory I was snapping a few pics as I do, mostly to get some more marketing material to assist the observatory. I found this one in subsequent days which features a nice bright meteor low on the southern horizon! Not bad catch for a night that ended up 2/3 cloudy.

The photograph also features southern night sky targets including Eta Carina, Southern Cross, Coal sack and both Large and Small Magellanic Clouds.

Workshops and the Milky Way

Perth Observatory Lowell Dome under the Milky Way with Jupiter above. Jupiter being near Opposition (May 2018)

It has been a crazy busy 2018 with workshops almost continuous. The first half of this year I’ve had a fun string of workshops all the way from a very busy January with many one-on-one workshops through to a very busy May with group bookings. Highlights this month were a private group one-on-one for a group of work colleagues (couple of hours workshop, dinner at the pub, then photo shoot), Shoot Workshops full day workshop, Stargazers Club WA on-site workshop at Lake Leschenaultia and a string of other one-on-one’s.

A feature of my workshops is that I have several tracking mounts and lots of telescope gear you can try (depending on your interests). The Vixen Polarie (supplied by Steve at the well respected australian supplier www.myastroshop.com.au is always a hit but there’s also he iOptron, AstroTrac, Losmandy and others.

This photograph was a quick snap last night at Perth Observatory while participants around me were using their cameras, tripods and my mounts for astrophotography. This is a single 30 second exposure with the Canon 6D.

Aurora Australis at Perth Observatory

Aurora Australis at Perth Observatory on the 8th September 2017

There’s a big buzz around aurora activity at the moment, with the large solar flares erupting from the sun causing potentially good conditions for aurora to be visible. On the 8th September I and what seemed like half of Perth were out to photograph the Aurora. The hard decision is always where to go and in this case limiting factors were it being friday after a busy week of work, the almost full moon rising at 8pm, and large areas of cloud about the state. Given all that I decided to make the short trip to the Perth Observatory where I volunteer.

I took a couple of hours of time lapse from two cameras. This photograph is from my Canon 6D using the Samyang 24mm f/1.4. It is largely a single frame utilising some data from two other frames for masking out some bright lights in the foreground (it was a public viewing night).

Pink aurora is visible across an area of the southern horizon. It would have been extending only a few degrees above the horizon but is quite noticeable in the raw and processed frames. The aurora was not visible to the naked eye. Above the aurora australis you can see the Large Magellanic Cloud. The sky is lit by the moon which had risen a little at the time, but blocked by cloud enough to not illuminate the foreground. The foreground features the domes of the Perth Observatory lit by the red lights of tour guides hosting a group of public on one of the regular Night Sky Tours.

Now to work on the time lapse!

The Waning [almost] Full Moon

The Waning [almost] Full Moon. 8 photographs merged in a mosaic, so there are some blending artifacts making this not a 100% accurate “map”. But hey, it looks good.

On the 13th April after leading a Full Moon tour at the Perth Observatory I took a moment to whip out my Fuji X-E2 and snap a mosaic of the Moon. This is a mosaic of 8 frames. There are some blending artifacts so don’t rely on this being a 100% scientifically accurate map of the Moon! (but hey, it looks good)

Blending mosaics of the Moon like this has become incredibly easy in recent years. The old days of 1990’s and early 2000’s photoshopping it would be a very manual affair with masks and adjustments. Now, a simple click will blend images of different brightness in to a seamless image. Photoshop doesn’t show any sympathy for all my painful hours of processing such moon mosaics in years gone by!