Night sky photography in Tasmania is an absolute joy. Even from the State’s capital, Hobart, it is a relatively short drive to some great dark sky locations. The past week in particular has seen a great deal of activity in the night-sky above Tasmania, luckilly co-inciding wth a series of very clear nights. From Feb 16 to Feb 18 we were greeted to rather special displays firstly of Comet Lemmon near the Small Magellanic Cloud & star cluster Tuc 47. The following night Aurora Australis popped up for a brief hello – not quite as strong as the auroras of last spring (September pics, October pics) but good to have it back. Following all that excitement Jupiter, along with its own system of moons was occulted by a half full moon on Feb 18.
Click any of the images below for a larger view.
Edit: Here is my post about Comet PanSTARRS from March 4 2013
Night Sky Photography Accessories
All my night sky photography is taken with my Pentax K5, Astro Tracer and a variety of lenses. The Astro Tracer function is quite unique to the Pentax system of DSLR’s and makes use of the “in camera” image stabilisation feature. When the optional Pentax GPS Unit O-GPS1 for Pentax K-5, K-r is mounted via the cameras hot-shoe mount, the camera can not only record GPS locations but use location data to rotate the camera’s sensor as a counter balance to the earths rotation thereby acting as an equatorial mount. Of course, exposures are limited the longer the focal length but nevertheless it is a very unique function and a big plus for the Pentax range of DSLRs.