I have been taking a bit of a break from astrophotography in the last few weeks, finally Winter has hit so it’s family holiday time. A regular family holiday spot for us is Pemberton in the south-west of Western Australia. As a family of photographers the area has endless photography opportunities. Many hours spent kneeling or lying on dirt to photograph interesting fungus and orchids! I’m yet to successfully incorporate macros subjects in astrophotography though! (there’s always a next challenge, right?)
This trip to Pemberton was a family holiday and so I only ventured outside briefly a couple of times for astrophotography. We happened to be staying around the corner from the Pemberton train station. What an amazing site for photography! It’s like someone installed a movie set with all the props and lighting, just waiting for photographers to arrive. My only challenge was ignoring the spooky nature of it to try and get some creativity and freedom flowing. I barely scratched the surface. Of course the challenge in Pemberton is often the weather – you can easily be there a week and have cloud every night, and you can see even in these photos evidence of encroaching cloud and fog which I only just beat.
Anyway, after much messing around on the computer, here’s some fun pics from the two nights.
Pemberton steam train at the Pemberton train station with the southerm Ilky Way above (including the Large Magellanic Cloud).
Pemberton Tramway Co with the Southern Milky Way.
Pemberton train station at night with the southern sky above.
Constellation of Orion with Pleaides, setting in a field of stars.Const
I have been enjoying setting aside a little more time for myself to take astrophotography around all the other busy things in my life like my dayjob, workshops, and building observatories! This image of the constellation of Orion setting in the north-west late one night is such a result.
Pleiades is extremely low on the western horizon, Taurus with the bright yellow/orange star Aldebaran is above Pleiades and then above that the constellation of Orion. The fainter northern Milky Way is visible to the right of Orion as the stream of stars down the image. Silhouette of gumtrees complete the image.
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.
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. 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.