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1,000 Meteors

Category Winner - Animated Sequences Scientific - David Malin Awards 2020

 

This video, at 15 frames per second, presents a diverse range of 1,000+ meteors (plus a lightning sprite) selected from 372 nights of imaging.  It is organised by local sidereal time and therefore also displays all of the northern night sky constellations as seen over a full 12 month period.  All frames are processed identically to show the dramatically varying sky conditions in colour, brightness and seeing conditions.

 

 

Midnight Montage

Highly Commended - Widefield - David Malin Awards 2020

 

Midnight Montage

 This montage represents the discrete images generated at midnight AEST between 5 April 2019 through 19 June 2020 shot every night, precipitation permitting, on a custom developed remotely controlled dark sky wide field time lapse system.  347 midnight images were captured across 442 total nights (78.5%).

 

Items to note:
  • 29 nights per row versus the lunar orbit of 29.5 days sees the shifting of the lunar illumination to the right for each row, as well as the shift of the Moon to the left (because it is rising earlier) in the same column for each successive row.
  • The shift to the left of the constellations between successive rows as the Earth orbits the Sun and the constellations in the night sky rises approximately 114 minutes (2 hours) earlier each row (29 day “moon-th”).
  • The rapid change of the altitude of the Moon night to night, and month to month, caused by the inclination of the moons orbit and the rapid orbit of the Moon around the Earth once per “moon-th"
  • All frames processed identically (with the exception of reduction of exposure around full moon) and the colour variations are real due to atmospheric and other conditions.  Orange (start of row 4), green oxygen glow (start of row 13), red from nearby bushfires (end of row 9).
  • Every image is date labelled in lower left corner.
Click to browse the full 11.3 gigapixel version.

Keogram Montage

Highly Commended - Widefield - David Malin Awards 2020

 

Midnight Montage

 

A keogram is a time-versus-latitude plot created from the individual images captured during the night and are a good method of summarising each night, with cloud and changing sky conditions apparent.  

This montage represents the keograms generated between 5 April 2019 through 19 June 2020 shot every night, precipitation permitting, on a custom developed remotely controlled dark sky wide field time lapse system.  372 keogram images were generated across 442 total nights (84.1%). 

 

Items to note:
  • Each keogram takes the centre two columns of pixels from each individual image taken over the night with columns from each successive image stacked to the right of the existing columns.  The positioning of the keogram is adjusted to centre on midnight in order that each individual keogram is comparable.
  • 29 nights per row of keograms, versus the lunar orbit of 29.5 days sees the shifting of the lunar illumination to the right for each row, as well as the shift of the Moon to the left (because it is rising earlier) in the same column keogram for each successive row.
  • The shift to the left of the constellations between successive rows as the Earth orbits the Sun and the constellations in the night sky rises approximately 114 minutes (2 hours) earlier each row (29 day “moon-th”).
  • The rapid change of the altitude of the Moon night to night, and month to month, caused by the inclination of the moons orbit and the rapid orbit of the Moon around the Earth once per “moon-th”, as well as the tilt of the earth.
  • X axis of each keogram represents time, and varies due to seasonal length of night (and late startup or premature shutdown due to weather conditions).  Maximum night Winter solstice approx 2,004 images (row 3) and minimum night Summer solstice (row 9) approx 1,164 images.
  • All frames processed identically (with the exception of reduction of exposure around full moon) and the colour variations are real due to atmospheric and other conditions.  Orange (start of row 4), green oxygen glow (start of row 13), red from nearby bushfires (end of row 9).
  • The north alignment of the camera effectively makes this a “transit” image as the stars cross the meridian, so whilst constellations are identifiable, they appear distorted to a single photographic image as the arc across the sky has been straightened as they are recorded only as the cross a fixed line in the sky.
  • Every keogram is date labelled in lower left corner.
  • A minor pixel defect approximately 1/3 from the top becomes evident with the same pixels from each image displayed side by side.  
Click to browse the full 7.67 gigapixel version.

Bushfire Skies

Highly Commended - Nightscapes - David Malin Awards 2020

 

 

Bushfire Skies

 

 

The raging summer bushfires came uncomfortably close turning the sky red as the fires lit up cloud.  

 

Dancing Clouds

Honorable Mention - Animated Sequences Aesthetic - David Malin Awards 2020

 

Clouds are the bane of the optical astronomers life.  But they can also be very majestic and unique in the way they form and dissipate, and travel in multiple directions simultaneously, as shown in this sequence of three clips.
 

Spacecraft

Honorable Mention - Animated Sequences Scientific - David Malin Awards 2020

 

 

This video is a compilation of some interesting spacecraft events captured in the night sky and includes:
  • SpaceX Falcon Heavy propulsive passivation manoeuvre - the final orbit adjustment of the upper stage, as well as passivation of the rocket by venting of all remaining fuel.
  • Chandrayaan-2 lunar orbit injection burn
  • SpaceX Starlink - a number of examples of the Starlink constellation clusters 

 

Cosmic Ray

Highly Commended - Deep Sky - David Malin Awards 2020

Bushfire Skies

 

The image shows (what is most likely) a cosmic ray over the background sea of noise captured by a DSLR image sensor.  Whilst normal processing is designed to reject and/or minimise such sources of noise, this image has been processed to preserve these cosmic events.

 

2,283 x ISO 100 30 second exposure blank frames were shot with a Canon 5D Mark III (RAW) with the lens cap on in a darkened room.   The typical debayering process was bypassed and the images converted to a linear RGB image in Pixinsight.  A “Max” integration and “Average” integration of all frames was undertaken, with the “Max” integration treated as a light frame, and the “Average” integration as a dark frame and subtracted in order to remove persistent hot pixels.  The resulting frame was then examined to identify extreme pixel values (at or near saturation), with two such cluster of pixels identified.  Identification of the individual frame with the same extreme pixel values was undertaken to ensure that the extreme cluster of pixel values were in a single frame and not an artefact of the “Max” integration across multiple frames.  Both identified cluster of pixels were traced to discrete frames suggestive of a single source event.  The image presented is one of those frames, with an auto stretch applied to display the cosmic ray signal above the random sensor noise and shows the RGGB bayer colour filter pattern on the sensor.

 

Kalaya is an aboriginal word for Emu.

 

For the past few years, I have envisaged shooting the Milky Way, and specifically the aboriginal “Emu”, rising above Uluru and Kata Tjuta - a blending of iconic ancient aboriginal landscape with ancient skies.  In May 2014 I finally had the opportunity.

 

The Directors Edition is the footage at normal speed, whilst the David Malin Awards version has sections of footage sped up to meet the two minute time limit on entries.

 

Tempus Velocitas is a a compilation of astronomy timelapses that I've shot over the past few years.

 

This compilation represents in the order of 58,000 individual images spanning approximately 240 hours of the night sky all compressed down to 31 minutes.

 

 

There is also a shorter Tempus Velocitas Celeritas  originally presented at the South Pacific Star Party 2014.

 

A Total Solar Eclipse 2012 occurred across Far North Queensland on 14 November 2012, and we managed clear skies to view this amazing event from Maitland Downs.  I can't wait until 2017 when there is a Total Solar Eclipse across the USA.  Everyone must see a TSE.

 

 

 

 

In May 2013, a Partial Solar Eclipse was visible from New South Wales.  Not in the same league as a Total Solar Eclipse, but still very cool.

 

 

Comet Lovejoy from December 2011