Comet 46P/Wirtanen

Comet 46P/Wirtanen on the 8th December 2018.

Comet 46P/Wirtanen has been featuring in many astro photo’s recently so it would be remiss of me to not share one of my attempts!

This is from last night 8th December. Three nights earlier I was in the WA Central Wheabelt under dark skies and the comet was naked eye when viewed with averted vision.

This was my first serious test of my new ZWO 30mm guide scope and ZWO 290MC camera for autoguiding. The 290MC is not the camera I intended to use with the guidescope but it seems my QHY QGuider has been outpaced by windows versions and no longer functional simply due to driver availability.

A moment under the southern skies

A moment under the southern skies

A moment under the Southern Skies. The processed result of images taken on the 8th September.

This is a wide field nightscape astro photo featuring the Milky Way. It centers on the Southern Celestial Pole and so includes also: The Southern Cross and Pointers, Small Magellanic Cloud, Large Magellanic Cloud, Eta Carina (just barely above the south-west horizon) and other features of the southern night sky. There is even a meteor! The meteor is from one of the frames only and was a very quick bright one.

In a rare almost never seen before appearance, I am actually in the photograph too , standing on the ridge near the tree.

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.

Dark southern skies and green air glow

Dark southern skies and rich green airglow in the Central Wheatbelt region of Western Australia.

From the Central Wheatbelt region of Western Australia another night of fantastic dark clear skies. From my experience February tends to have quite a few nights compared to the rest of the year exhibiting green air glow and last night was just one time. Beautiful rich green across the sky was visible even in short exposures.

This photograph features the familiar Southern Cross and Pointers (alpha and beta Centauri) quite prominently along with the Milky Way and Small Magellanic Cloud (right). The Eta Carina nebula is also visible (top of Milky Way).

2017 Geminid Meteors

2017 Geminid Meteor from the WA Wheatbelt on the 14th December 2017 at 03:03am local time.

I took a drive to the Wheatbelt for some Geminid meteors among other things on the 14th December 2017. I had my usual two cameras with me, the Canon 6D and Fuji X-E2. The 6D was shooting with a Canon full-circular fisheye (8-15mm F/4) and the Fuji with the Samyang 12mm F/2.

I left both cameras going as long as their batteries would last, which ended up being about 2:30am for the Canon and 3:30am for the Fuji. This lucky strike of a bright meteor was captured by the Fuji X-E2 at 3:03am local time. It’s a bright meteor that’s for sure! The green hue is very obvious and would have been fantastic to see in person, but I was asleep at the time!