Perth Observatory Communications from Orbit

Perth Observatory under stars - Communications from Orbit?

Perth Observatory under stars – Communications from Orbit?

Following on from my previous post of he Perth Observatory Meridian Dome this is a fun photograph of a satellite dish atop another building at the Perth Observatory. Distinctly an observatory building but with the dome obscured by the high walls and my close proximity you will note the curved nature of the wall.

The Milky Way is shining nicely in the background above the Perth Observatory with notable features include the two pointers (Alpha & Beta Centauri) in the top right. Antares is the bright yellow star in the top-left-centre region. Beyond the bulge of the Milky Way the star density decreases to deep space.

I struggled to find a fun name for this photograph, starting off with “Messaging the Stars” but then thought about the practicalities of the dish being used for satellite internet connection which hardly justifies such a grand name! I settled on the “Communications from Orbit”, more representative of the actual infrastructure but perhaps less emotive! :)

Prints available upon request, drop me an email. 20% of all profits from Perth Observatory prints donated to operation of the observatory.

Next astrophotography workshop night at the Perth Observatory will follow my next astrophotography workshop in Perth on June 27th & 28th 2015.

 

Perth Observatory Meridian Telescope Dome

Perth Observatory Meridian Telescope Dome

Perth Observatory Meridian Telescope Dome

At the Perth Observatory again last night (for a committee meeting, nothing exciting I assure you!) I took the opportunity of a clear night without public or astrophotography workshop to snap a few pictures of the Milky Way. Here’s a quick one of the Meridian Telescope Dome. Not currently in use, the dome as once manned every night of the year as part of the Meridian Program. I like the light falling on the Meridian building in this photograph, subtly outlining it’s unique shape.

It’s a great time of year to be photographing the central bulge of the Milky Way, as it’s rising at a very reasonable hour soon after sunset. It’s bright and easy to see and photograph under semi-dark skies (or darker). Here the central bulge of the Milky Way is shown behind top-left of the telescope building. [click here for larger image]

Cloud Totality – 4th April 2015 Total Lunar Eclipse

Cloud Totality - Total Lunar Eclilpse 4th April 2015

Cloud Totality – Total Lunar Eclilpse 4th April 2015. Note: The specks on the centre and left of frame are actually stars.

Partially Eclipsed, In a halo of ice crystals. Total Lunar Eclipse 4th April 2015. The colourful halo around the moon is due to refraction of light through the clouds in our atmosphere, resulting in a subtle rainbow.

Partially Eclipsed, In a halo of ice crystals. Total Lunar Eclipse 4th April 2015. The colourful halo around the moon is due to refraction of light through the clouds in our atmosphere, resulting in a subtle rainbow.

Photographing through the clouds - Cloud Totality of the 4th April 2015 Lunar Eclipse

Photographing through the clouds – Cloud Totality of the 4th April 2015 Lunar Eclipse

The April 4th 2015 Total Lunar Eclipse from Perth Western Australia was a largely cloudy experience but we persevered and were amazed what the camera pulled out from behind the clouds!

Visually the moon was barely if at all visible throughout totality with cloud obscuring the dimly lit Moon. Luckily the camera was more successful!

Perth Observatory Shoot Photography Workshop Night

Perth Observatory Astrograph under the stars of the MIlky Way.

Perth Observatory Astrograph under the stars of the MIlky Way.

Perth Observatory Emu with Astrograph Dome

Perth Observatory Emu with Astrograph Dome

Last night I enjoyed a beautiful evening under the stars at the Perth Observatory with participants from my Shoot Photography Studio Nightscapes workshop. The evening was just perfect – cool but not freezing, slight breeze but not too strong, no cloud!

Thanks to everyone who came along and had a great time. We got to photograph the Moon and Jupiter through an observatory telescope followed by lots of nightscapes and star trail shots, learning the ins and outs of focusing, tracking, ISO, noise reduction and where all our camera buttons are in the dark! I run the Shoot Photography Studio Nightscapes workshop several times each year and also provide one-on-one tutoring on-demand. My astrophotography workshop night at the Perth Observatory is optional and follows on from the two day weekend course prior.

Eta Carina Fuji X-E2 Test

Eta Carina Nebula - Fuji X-E2 Test shot (1 frame, 6400ISO, 2 minute exposure)

Eta Carina Nebula – Fuji X-E2 Test shot (1 frame, 6400ISO, 2 minute exposure)

A little while ago I purchased an adaptor to fit my Fuji X-E2 on to my telescopes. It’s been a busy few months so I hadn’t had a chance to play with it until now. Last night I snapped a few pictures to test how the camera performs. It turns out I need another adapter (surprise surprise!) and so the tests ended up being without my field-flattener/corrector (which is sub-optimal). By not being able to include the field flattener you can notice some distortion around the periphery of the frame. This is easily cleaned up when having the correct combination of lenses used in the telescope – perhaps another night soon once I have sourced an adapter.

It is interesting to see what the Fuji can do. This nebula may be one of the brightest in the sky, and so one of the easiest and least challenging for the Fuji, but still it was very easy to bring out the colour. So far I am finding the Fuji X-E2 provides easier colour, especially in the reds and pinks, than the Canon 6D, and has no more noise than the 6D – perhaps less.