Phil's blog

Conjunction at The Dish

At the Central West Astronomical Society's 2012 Astrofest and David Malin Awards. Headed straight out to 'The Dish' on Friday night to setup some gear for the morning conjunction. Of course, who should I bump into but John Sarkissian and Alex Cherney, chatting away waiting for the rain shower to clear.


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Canon 5D Mark II, 35mm lens, 25 sec, f2, ISO800

Mt Niles in the Twilight and Moonlight

These two images of Mt Niles were captured from the Scott Duncan Memorial Hut, on the last and coldest night of the Wapta Traverse Ski Trek in the Canadian Rockies which I did with Yamnuska Mountain Adventures in April 2012.


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Transit of Venus at Sunrise from Leipzig

Transit of Venus behind Communication Tower
Transit of Venus behind Communication Tower, Leipzig: Wednesday 6th June 2012
Canon 5D MarkII, 600mm lens + 2x teleconverter

The Venus and Jupiter Show

In early 2012 I spent nine weeks based in Canada's Yukon Territory on the biggest astronomy and photography adventure I've ever tackled. The primary reason for going all the way up to the Yukon was of course to photograph the northern lights. But the conjunction between Venus and Jupiter in February/March provided a nice sideshow. So consider this a teaser video before I can produce something more from the three and half terabytes of aurora timelapse footage that I captured.

Chasing Aurora in the Yukon: Week 9

Well my nine weeks chasing aurora in the Yukon has come to an end. A happy end.

Here's the (long) final blog for the series, until such a time as I can actually produce a video from my 187,792 image files which take up three and half terabytes of disk space, more than my entire ten year collection of digital images taken prior to this.


Close conjunction of Venus and Jupiter with Orion (left) and Northern Lights, Tombstone Park, Yukon Territory Canada, 15th March 2012
Canon 5DMKII, 24mm lens, five frame panorama each 8 sec, f1.4, ISO800
View on SmugMug

Chasing Aurora in the Yukon: Week 6

Aside from drowning in data on a completely inadequate netbook computer, things in the Yukon are going well. My second New Moon has come and gone, but I have a lot of photos to show for the miles I've driven and nights I've spent around the Yukon in the last two weeks.

Chasing Aurora in the Yukon: Week 3

The Aurora Returns

After nearly two weeks waiting for the Full Moon to come and go, things are getting hectic again. Sunday night (12th Feb) was the first great aurora show since 31st Jan, and my first time out on location away from the house. I drove a little further up Lake Laberge and got some nice images and footage despite a few clouds. The moonrise was a surprisingly successful feature that night too.

Chasing Aurora in the Yukon: Week 1


Leaving Home in a post-Cooinda Hurry

20th January, the day I left Melbourne, I woke to a text message alerting me to the news that there had a been a major eruption from a sunspot on the sun, which had hurled a 'coronal mass ejection' (CME) towards earth. This was the first significant eruption in many months from a sun still emerging from an extended minimum. So for the next 48 hours, I would be racing that CME across the solar system to Whitehorse in the Yukon. Kaz dropped me at the airport for the start of the journey, both of us looking forward to Part II of this adventure when she joins me in Scotland in early April.

Six days of Comet Lovejoy

Following my attempts to photograph Comet Lovejoy before Christmas, I also managed to record some timelapse sequences over six consecutive mornings after Christmas. All this while I was Summer Camp Director for Camp Cooinda on the Gippsland Lakes!

40 Orionid Meteors - 23rd October 2011

Last weekend at the Lake Eppalock retreat in central Victoria, I tried to repeat the process that got me this previous image of the Geminid meteors in 2009. However since the Orionids are generally a less active shower, I wasn't expecting to be able to do as well. It seems I was wrong.


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