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]
View products featuring this astro photograph
It is not every day (or night) that you see the Milky Way erupting from the ground with an explosion of stars, dust and gas in to space! Well that’s what this photograph looks like.
Here the red earth of Kalbarri National Park with a peak resembling a Volcano and the Milky Way to finish it off as if to be the smoke and ash plume extending from the Volcano 🙂 Well, if use your imagination!
This popular photograph featured as a 30″ x 20″ photographic print in the Earth, Above and Beyond exhibition in December 2013, and in the AstroFest 2013 exhibition (later to be sold at charity auction).
I have been working on-and-off with several shots like this, both individual and panoramics much larger than this one, trying to find the right balance between the extreme natural reds and browns of the Kalbarri gorges and the night sky. Of course there in person with no torch or other light you see a darker scene than this. But as an artist I am trying to bring the different elements of the landscape together, the beautiful dark night sky and the amazing vibrant layers of sandstone, and attempting to end up with an attractive balance. I may yet revisit this one as I continue with other images from the 4 nights at Kalbarri.
Shown are the Small Magellanic Cloud (left) with the Milky Way extending from horizon to top right. The Southern Cross and Pointers are visible not far from the horizon in the Milky Way. Antares is the bright red/yellow star near the top right corner surrounded by a little pink nebulosity. Saturn is at the bottom right, almost directly below Antares and appears fainter than Antares and the Pointers.
This nightscape was taken in the Kalbarri National Park. The foreground is illuminated using flashes with specifically chosen gel filters to best approximate daylight colours, giving you this great combination of the gorge and the night sky.