I was waiting for the middle weekend in July for quite a while for two reasons:

  • I was going to Parkes, NSW to attend Astrofest held by the Central West Astronomical Society and David Malin astrophotography awards
  • There was a going to be very nice alignment in the early morning sky with Pleiades,  Moon, Jupiter, Venus and Orion constellation, which I hoped to photograph above the Dish

The awards night was exciting and I was extremely happy to find out that my images won two categories and received three honourable mentions (full report to follow).

After the awards dinner I drove to the Dish and watched the clouds come and go. When it started to rain just before the twilight I thought that all was lost, packed up my cameras and drove back for about 5 minutes. Then I looked out of the car window and saw the clearing in the sky which headed towards were I just was. Not thinking for too long I turned the car back, raced back to the Dish, put the camera on the tripod and managed to take just a few images before the sky closed again.

Moon and Planets on Parade above the Dish
Annotated image:
Planets on Parade above the Dish (annotated)

Moments like this make all sleepless nights very worthwhile indeed!

This image was selected for NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day (July 19, 2012).


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