Tuesday, April 16, 2013

stories from siding spring observatory

some colleagues at the australian astronomical observatory and i have put together a photo exhibition which opens to the public this week at the sydney observatory

the inspiration came immediately after the bushfire swept through siding spring observatory in january.  we were feeling helpless and on the brink of hopeless while waiting for investigations to inform us of the extent of the damage to the observatory facilities.

this photo, found in a google search by one of the AAO engineers, prompted him to send a few of us an email:

Rainbows at sunrise from the AAT (photo credit: me!)
he suggested we collect our favorite photos from siding spring observatory that capture our experiences up there, in order to share inspiration with each other and bring together all members of the AAO during the difficult experience.

we quickly developed the idea for a full photo exhibition, to share with the public what we enjoy most about the observatory and working with such interesting new technologies and fascinating people.   we asked all AAO colleagues to contribute what they deemed their best images.  

we collected several hundreds of photos and finally, with much effort, reduced the collection to 26 amazing images.   we have printed and framed each image, and are currently hanging them to display at the sydney observatory.  

from this thursday, 18th april 2013, until mid-august, you can visit the "stories from siding spring observatory" photo exhibition for free during regular hours at sydney observatory

i'll share one more photo from the exhibition here, because i think it is spectacular!

AAT dome and Milky Way (Photo: Jamie Gilbert)

i havent seen this beautiful panorama printed out and framed yet.   i'm really excited to visit the observatory and see all the photos large, live and in person!  please go visit the observatory if you can - view the photos and let me know what you think!

our official blurb for the exhibition:

Siding Spring Observatory sits on a mountaintop in the Warrumbungle Range, 400 km northwest of Sydney and 25 km west of the town of Coonabarabran.  Run by the Australian National University, it is Australia's most important site for optical astronomy. 

On 13 January 2013 a bushfire swept through the observatory.  Despite damage to some buildings, the telescopes were unharmed and are now back at work.

The photos in this exhibition tell stories of life and work on the mountain.  They were taken by staff of the Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO), which operates two telescopes there: the 4-m Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT) and the UK Schmidt telescope.


heroineworshipper said...

That must have been a sensitive camera. Either the galaxy or the ground needs to be blurred to get the galaxy that bright.

Unknown said...

it takes a decent camera, yes, but more importantly, it requires a practiced photographer. this single image is a collection of 7 separate images combined as a mosaic.