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Night Sky Photography Tasmania: October 21-22 2014

Night Sky Photography Tasmania: October 21-22 2014

Wednesday October 22, 2014

For anyone into night sky photography Tasmania is a joy. As well as regular displays of the southern aurora, the dark skies of Tasmania mean many distant objects can be sought out relatively easily.

Night Sky Photography Tasmania

Night Sky Photography Tasmania. The spring sky – from left – the Seven Sisters (Pleiades); Taurus; Orion; Canis Major rise over Hobart

The Orionids Meteor Shower

My main aim heading out last night was to witness the Orionids meteor display. I have never made the time to get outdoors for a meteor shower, but with such a stunningly clear night last night I made up my mind to head out at around midnight, given the best of the show was expected to be from around 1:00 onwards.

Orionids October 2014 Tasmania

Orionids October 2014 Tasmania, or more correctly – “an” orionid! (bottom, left of centre)

Night Sky Photography Tasmania

While waiting for Orion to rise, I did some deeper sky images. Having heard that a comet was again in our skies I was interested to see just what, if anything, I would capture with my humble 200 mm and astro tracer. I was quite happy to find I had indeed captured a distinct greenish glow, not dissimilar to Comet Lemmon a couple of years ago, but nowhere near as spectacular as a previous Comet Panstarrs from around the same time.

Night Sky Photography Comet Panstarrs Tasmania

Night Sky Photography Comet Panstarrs Tasmania

Spring is also the only time of year we here in Tasmania have a chance at spotting the Andromeda Galaxy. The shot above was taken through the glow of Hobart, so a darker location would yield even better results!

Night Sky Photography Andromeda Galaxy Tasmania

Night Sky Photography Andromeda Galaxy Tasmania

Given the subject of the night was the Orionids, I also fired off a few shots of the famous Orion Nebula, and Orions belt including the harder to image Horsehead Nebula.

The Orion Nebula, one of the easiest objects to find and photograph

Night sky photography Tasmania – The Orion Nebula

Night Sky Photography Tasmania Orions Belt

Night Sky Photography Tasmania Orions Belt

So in the end the orionids meteor display was a complete fizzer, but the night was far from wasted :) For those wanting to explore the southern skies more, check out “Astroblog” which contains invaluable information about what can be seen in the night sky from week to week.

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