The David Malin Astrophotography Awards

Having taken my astrophotography to a new level in the last couple of years (courtesy of having had a real job in the UK for five years), and now having returned to Oz last year, I entered a bunch of my astro-images to the fourth annual David Malin astrophotography awards, hosted by the Central West Astronomical Society in Parkes, NSW.

Guessing the Weather

Below are a few weather links that may be of some use to other astronomers. I've listed them in the way that I use them ahead of a decision on whether to travel north from Melbourne for a night of astrophotography. I have no formal qualifications in this area (although I am the son of a meteorologist). This may be most relevant for other's in the south-east but the links should be useful in most areas of Australia.

BoM = Australian Bureau of Meteorology
GFS = US Numerical Model
All times quoted are AEST (UT +10)

2-4 Days Ahead

Heathcote, Victoria: ASV Leon Mow Dark Sky Site

Thanks to the generosity of Leon Mow, the Astronomical Society of Victoria (Australia) has a dark sky site near Heathcote, Victoria. This is a great site for observing and astrophotography, not the least for the good company which helps to keep you motivated through a long night and the beds in the shed which aid recovery from the 'Heathcote Hangover'.

K242 near Aberdeen, Scotland

The Aberdeen Astronomical Society (AAS) in Scotland has a dark sky site on Forestry Commission land around 20 miles west of Aberdeen. Just hope the weather co-operates!

Astro Tips

If you've ever wondered whether it's possible to use a Meade CCD or SBIG ST4 autoguider with a Celestron is: here is a document that describes my experience at working out how, seeing as no one at Meade or Celestron or on the newsgroups could tell me at the time, although that was in 1998.

Lunar Eclipse 2000

Click on the image for a larger version (80kB)

6in f10 Intes Maksutov
Focal Length 1500mm
Minolta SRT-101
Fuji Superia 400
Exposures 1 second to 30 seconds

Canon 200mm f2.8L Lens Test

Star tests with the Canon 200mm f2.8L II lens and 1.4x and 2x teleconverters.

Canon 200mm f2.8L II lens

10D Centre 100% 10D Corner 100% 35mm Film Corner



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