In Port Campbell National Park there are  some gorgeous places I can’t wait to photograph under the night skies. There is one small problem, however… The Weather. This part of the coast appears to be one of the most wet cloudy and unpredictable places in Victoria.

We travelled with the family along the Great Ocean Road in April 2010 and the day after we came back I set up the weather page for a small town of Port Campbell as a home page in my web browser. The wait for a clear night around New Moon began…

Only in July 2010 the weather forecast looked half-decent so I hopped in the car and drove some 300kms only to find thick cloud all over the sky in the evening. But around 1am the clouds miraculously disappeared and I was rewarded with brilliant views of the Milky Way from Loch Ard Gorge lookout.

Milky Way Shadow Reflection

Milky Way Shadows Being far away from man-made lights the place was very dark on a moonless night. The centre our Milky Way Galaxy is the most significant source of light which helped to created peculiar dark reflections on the water in the middle of the frame.

In the time lapse animation below the ocean waves form a beautiful dance-like pattern on the water. About an hour of Earth rotation compressed into 30 seconds of video.

Show on the Map

Belt of Venus

The morning was nice and clear and I made a panoramic image which shows Belt of Venus atmospheric phenomenon quite nicely.  It can be observed shortly after sunset or shortly before sunrise and appears as a band of  pink glow or antitwilight arch around you.

Two images below are projections of a 360 degrees full panorama. The “little planet” shows the Belt rather well.

Belt Of Venus   Belt Of Venus Around Planet Earth

In Port Campbell National Park there are  some gorgeous places I can’t wait to photograph under the night skies. There is one small problem, however… The Weather. This part of the coast appears to be one of the most wet cloudy and unpredictable places in Victoria.

We travelled with the family along the Great Ocean Road in April 2010 and the day after we came back I set up the weather page for a small town of Port Campbell as a home page in my web browser. The wait for a clear night around New Moon began…

Only in July 2010 the weather forecast looked half-decent so I hopped in the car and drove some 300kms only to find thick cloud all over the sky in the evening. But around 1am the clouds miraculously disappeared and I was rewarded with brilliant views of the Milky Way from Loch Ard Gorge lookout.

Milky Way Shadow

Milky Way Shadows Being far away from man-made lights the sky is very dark at night. The centre our Milky Way Galaxy is the most significant source of light and is bright enough to cast shadows on the water. Most evident are the shadows of the two limestone rocks in the middle of the frame.

In the time lapse animation below the ocean waves form a beautiful dance-like pattern on the water. About an hour of Earth rotation compressed into 30 seconds of video.

[thkBC height="400" width="390" anchortext="Show on the Map" title="Show on the Map" type="iframe" html_wrap="div" inline_id="id1"]

Belt of Venus

The morning was nice and clear and I made a panoramic image which shows Belt of Venus atmospheric phenomenon quite nicely.  It can be observed shortly after sunset or shortly before sunrise and appears as a band of  pink glow or antitwilight arch around you.

Two images below are projections of a 360 degrees full panorama. The “little planet” shows the Belt rather well.

Belt Of Venus   Belt Of Venus Around Planet Earth

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21 Comments for this entry

  1. Ian Reide:

    Congrats on the apod. Excellent pic.

  2. Charles Lillo:

    Alex congrats on your apod, simply a beautifull shot. could you share a few details on the capture? Your technique’s on how to keep the foreground and backgrounds in sync?

    • terrastro:

      For this photo I took 7 images and then processed them separately for the sky and ground. The ground images were simply averaged in Registax and sky photos were aligned and de-rotated in DeepSkyStacker. The two halves were then blended back together in Photoshop.

      You loose some edges due to de-rotation but it is minimal over 7×15 second shots.

      Alex

  3. richardsomm:

    Stunning. Very impressed.

  4. tom:

    amazing! were the 7 images all the same exposure or were they varying?

    • terrastro:

      Thanks!
      Yes all seven were same exposure and a part of the time lapse animation sequence

  5. Jay:

    magnificent APOD, Alex…congrats.
    What camera did you use and what lens and ISO ?
    thanks
    Jay

    • terrastro:

      Thanks Jay.
      Nikon D700, Nikkor 14-24mm, ISO3200, 15 sec

  6. Jay:

    Very clean image. Thanks for the info Alex !
    Kudos !!

  7. Alexandre campagna:

    Quick question, did you turn on in camera noise reduction, oro did you do it in a third party software?

    Thanks……stunning shot!

    • terrastro:

      In-camera noise reduction was off in this image. I reduced noise by stacking seven images together (see an earlier comment).
      Cheers,
      Alex

  8. Sumit:

    Is there any way to get a larger version of the APOD shot? I’d love to use it as my wallpaper (1920×1080), but it’s a bit small for my desktop.

  9. tom:

    hey again!
    just wondering, what was the interval time between each shot on the milky way shadow shot?
    thanks a lot
    tom

    • terrastro:

      15 second exposures with 1 second interval between them.

      • tom:

        ah so i guess when you rotate them that gets rid of star trails/blurs?

        • terrastro:

          Yes, software de-rotation can take care of trailing stars in total exposure of under 2 minutes

  10. Vivek:

    Hi Alex,

    The milky way snap is an awesome awesome jawdropping snap.

    Someday I’ll go to a place where thereis no light pollution and try to capture such a snap/

    Regards
    VIvek

  11. Maurice:

    Keep up the excellent work.
    Unfortunately, I live in Belgium, which must be the worst place on earth to view the night sky.
    Thank you for letting me see what the night sky is really like.

  12. Borgbjerg:

    Very impressive!
    Are you using any kind og “stacking” of the photos?
    Are you using graduated filters og are what we see the raw exposure?
    When the weather here in Denmark behave and give me a night with clear sky I will try this astrophotography.
    Keep up the excellent work and be an inspiration for us all.
    Yours
    John

    • terrastro:

      Thanks!
      Sometimes, when the light is scarce I stack 5-7 images together to minimise noise. But in doing so I always make sure that the stack looks exactly like the single exposure just with less noise.
      Can’t use any filters with the 14-24mm lens and I wouldn’t want to waste photons with filter at night with no moon. In the early morning images no grad filters are needed because the light from the sun which is still below the horizon is very gentle.

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