It's been a long learning curve, but I'm pleased to have finally released my second timelapse video from my 'Aurora Adventures in the Yukon' earlier this year.
The last few nights have held a lovely conjunction with Mars, Saturn and the bright star Spica forming a striking triangle in the evening sky.
Although Mars and Saturn are not the brightest planets, I was keen to capture an image that would show the colour variation between the orange-red of Mars, pale yellow of Saturn and the brilliant blue of Spica. Hope you like this image I captured as the three set behind some eucalyptus (gum) trees on the evening of Sunday 12th August, while I was running a workshop on the shores of Lake Eppalock, in central Victoria, Australia.
After nine weeks in the Yukon earlier this year to photograph the Northern Lights, followed by some extended travels, I finally returned home to the pleasant surprise of winning the overall David Malin Award at the 2012 CWAS Astrofest for an image taken from very close to home, in Williamstown near the centre of Melbourne, Australia.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!