I was very lucky to receive a 2010 David Malin Award for an animated time-lapse sequence of a setting Milky Way. After a nine-hour drive we arrived to Parkes, NSW. The weather was nice and I used the opportunity to take some images of the famous Parkes Radio Telescope under the night sky.
The Dish is a very impressive structure – movable telescope spans over 64 metres in diameter and takes 15 minutes to make a 360 degrees turn. It is the second largest movable dish telescope in the Southern Hemisphere. During the Apollo missions to the moon, it was used to relay communication and telemetry signals to NASA, providing coverage for when the moon was on the Australian side of the Earth.
The radio telescope is commonly known as “The Dish” after being featured in the 2000 fiction film.
Standing under the dish made me feel very small indeed.
Show on the Map
360 Degree Panoramas
I took several 360 degrees panoramic images which allow some exciting projections as well as virtual tours. The ground was lit by thin crescent Moon.
If you click on the Virtual Tour thumbnails at 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.
A few panoramic projections:
The light from the crescent moon was subtle enough to still reveal the Milky Way and gently illuminate the ground.
After the Moon had set below the horizon, the Milky Way became more prominent and there was some light on the ground from the illuminated Dish.
Time Lapse Animation
I made the following time lapse animation from just over a thousand of still images. It shows the rotation of the Earth and movements of The Dish.