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.