Archive for the ‘Galleries’ Category

Loch Ard Gorge Panorama

Monday, January 28th, 2013

During a quick trip to one of my favourite places in Victoria – Loch Ard Gorge on the Great Ocean Road I manage to make a full panorama of the Gorge with a small Aurora and a lot of airglow in the sky
Loch Ard Gorge

The image covers 360 degrees horizontally and features the Milky Way, Jupiter, Orion, Magellanic Clouds and Southern Cross. Below is the virtual reality tour which should get you close to “being there”.

Loch Ard Gorge Panorama

Loch Ard Gorge Panorama

If you click on the Virtual Tour thumbnail on the left you should be able to pan and zoom using the buttons at the bottom of the image or just click and drag it with the mouse to pan and use Shift/Ctrl keys to zoom in and out. Adobe Flash player is required.

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During our camping holiday at Wilsons Promontory National Park (Victoria, Australia) in December I noticed a glimpse of bioluminescence in the surf. However, the weather was not favourable for night sky photography and I knew I had to return at the earliest opportunity and photograph this phenomenon under the stars.

I waited for the next New Moon in January 2013 and ventured out to Squeaky Beach at night. Electric blue surf started to appear when it became dark and it was amazing to see the blue sparkle as I walked in the water.

The ghostly blue light is is produced by small single-celled marine micro-organisms called Noctiluca scintillans (commonly known as the Sea Sparkle) through a chemical reaction. It can be found all over the globe and particularly in areas of nutrient-rich waters. I could not resist adding Aurora Australis footage I took at Mornington Peninsula in October 2012 to create the natural “Liquid Light Show”.

The “Memories of the Moon” track by zero-project was a perfect fit for this time-lapse.

Images and Virtual Reality Tour

Squeaky Beach Panorama

Squeaky Beach Panorama

If you click on the Virtual Tour thumbnail on the left you should be able to pan and zoom using the buttons at the bottom of the image or just click and drag it with the mouse to pan and use Shift/Ctrl keys to zoom in and out. Adobe Flash player is required.

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CSIRO ASKAP Radio Telescope

Monday, October 1st, 2012

The monotonous flatness of the Western Australian outback is interrupted by the tall antennae of the Australian SKA Pathfinder Radio Telescope. The night sky is majestically dark with no man-made lights as far as eye can see. The dishes are slowly turning following the path of stars. It seems  like stargazer’s haven… Indeed I was very happy to be there filming the CSIRO ASKAP radio telescope under the night time sky during the new moon week of September 2012.

19960 images, 3 cameras, 5 nights — I hope you enjoy the time-lapse video (please put the sound on):

ASKAP  is a very impressive instrument with 36 antennas, each 12 meters in diameter, spread out over 4,000 square meters and working together as a single instrument. Murchison Radio-astronomy observatory is one of the most radio-quiet places in the World and not many people come by. This footage may be quite unique because after the telescope testing phase is completed, any electronic equipment, including cameras, may not be used near the telescope.

It was an unforgettable experience — I stayed at the telescope during the day, helped scripting and testing the antenna movement for the night with CSIRO scientist Maxim Voronkov and just enjoyed the remote location with no mobile phones.

Alex Cherney

 

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Mystic Sky of South Island

Friday, August 10th, 2012

I am very happy we made Lake Tekapo on South Island of New Zealand our winter holiday destination. Of course it had to be around the New Moon and I hoped for some clear nights. The weather was good and I had two cameras clicking away during six nights.

One lucky night the fog descended on the valley but Mt. John remained above it.

Boiling Clouds

The lights of Lake Tekapo village and passing cars under the blanket of fog made for a very cool foreground. I think I like it even better than Aurora. Warm thanks to the University of Canterbury for letting me use the Mt. John Observatory grounds.

Matariki (the Māori name for the Pleiades) eluded me due to clouds or a full memory card until the very last morning at the Church of Good Shepherd. Even then it looked like the fog thickened just before Matariki rose but it cleared up just in time when Jupiter and Venus joined the show.

 

I hope you enjoy watching this five-minute long film as much as I enjoyed making it.

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Red Aurora above the Southern Ocean

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

After chasing it for more than two years I was finally rewarded with two displays of Auroa Australis (Southern lights) within a week visible from Mornington Peninsula, not far from Melbourne. The nights were warm an clear and the Moon was not in the sky either – I could not have asked for better conditions.

The red color of this aurora is caused by  the charged particles from the Sun exciting  oxygen atoms high in the Earth’s atmosphere. Hopefully there will be more to come as Sun’s activity increases in 2012-13.

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Tekapo Starlight

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

Recently I was involved in a very exciting project – a film crew from Japan invited me to participate in filming a documentary about Lake Tekapo starlight reserve in New Zealand.
Luckily, two nights on South Island  were clear and I got some nice footage.


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Epic Stargaze

Monday, September 5th, 2011

For the fifth year Astronomical Society of Albury Woodonga organised a spectacular star party – Border Stargaze. This year’s stargaze was exceptional in many ways. The weather was kind and we had an epic run of five clear nights in a row.

Everyone was busy observing the sky with telescopes small and large at night and I had two cameras clicking away. The result is this three minute (my longest yet!) time lapse animation. There are four galaxies – The Milky Way, Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, Andromeda Galaxy and many many stars. The changing sky colour from natural Oxygen glow in the upper atmosphere is quite startling.

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Virtual Tours at Cape Schanck

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

I have not done 360 degree panoramas for a while because I was limited by a single camera. The recent addition of a spectrum-modified SONY NEX-5 camera was motivating enough to try it again and I ventured out to one of my favourite spots at Cape Schanck Lighhouse.

06. Lighthouse and Orion
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Imaging the sky with a telescope

Monday, February 14th, 2011

The ever-challenging Astronomy hobby has led me to experimenting with taking images through a telescope.
My telescope is a rather large reflector on a Nyx - 22 mount that moves in altitude and azimuth (Dobsonian). These telescopes are not generally suitable for astro-photography because they do not compensate Earth rotation. However having 22″ of aperture allows to image brighter deep-space objects with reasonable results using exposure time under 15 seconds.

Saturday night was half-clear and I put my Sony NEX-5 camera into the telescope and took a few images (it always helps to take a few images and stack them together to minimise noise). It was quite thrilling to take an image of the Orion Nebula and see a lot of colour on the camera screen so I kept going and tried a few more objects. The images below are quite modest in modern astro-photography but I’ve had a lot of fun doing it.

You can view a full size image, a brief description and technical data when you click on a thumbnail below and scroll through the gallery.

Equipment

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Three Galaxies and Meteor Shower

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

The satellite weather image started to look promising around 8pm on the last Monday in January 2011 and I made a snap decision to go my favourite spot in Flinders to do a panning time lapse as well as some observing with my telescope. After 1.5-hour drive, I set up the camera to continuously take an image every 30 seconds and enjoyed a long deep sky observing session. The highlight of the night were spectacular galaxies near Large Magellanic Cloud (in southern constellations Dorado and Volans).

I also noticed quite a few meteors in the southern sky and remembered Alpha Crucids  meteor shower was around this time of the year. It is named after the brightest star in Southern Cross constellation (Crux). I looked it up and it is active in the second half of January.  Below is one of the brighter meteors I was lucky to capture on camera (in the upper left part of the frame).
A spear above the Elephant Rock

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