Last week, northerners marvelled at the splendours of the southern hemisphere sky from a dark site in Australia.
I’ve attended the OzSky Sky Safari several times and have always come away with memories of fantastic views of deep-sky wonders visible only from the southern hemisphere.
This year was no exception, as skies stayed mostly clear for the seven nights of the annual star party near Coonabarabran, New South Wales.
About 35 people from the U.S., Canada and the U.K. attended, to take in views through large telescopes supplied by the Australian branch of the Texas-based Three Rivers Foundation. The telescopes come with the best accessory of all: knowledgeable Aussies who know the southern sky and are delighted to present its splendours to us visiting sky tourists.
Here are a few of the night scenes from last week.
The lead image above shows a 360° panorama of the observing field and sky from early in the evening, as Orion sets in the west to the right, while Scorpius rises in the east to the left. The Large Magellanic Cloud is at centre, while the Southern Cross shines to the upper left in the Milky Way.
This panorama, presented here looking south in a fish-eye scene, is from later in the night as the galactic core rises in the east. Bright Jupiter and the faint glow of the Gegenschein are visible at top to the north.
Each night observers used the big telescopes to gaze at familiar sights seen better than ever under Australian skies, and new objects never seen before.
The Dark Emu of aboriginal sky lore rises above some of the 3RF telescopes.
Carole Benoit from Calgary looks at the Orion Nebula as an upside-down Orion sets into the west.
John Bambury hunts down an open cluster in the rich southern Milky Way near Carina and Crux.
David Batagol peers at a faint galaxy below the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy to our Milky Way.
Check here for details on the OzSky Star Safari.
— Alan, April 11, 2016 / © 2016 Alan Dyer / www.amazingsky.com
2 Replies to “Scenes from a Southern Star Party”
I am so fortunate to live close to where this star party was held
Pics like these really reinforce the reason why Coonabarabran is the Astronomy Capital of Australia . Beautiful images of a magnificant night sky ..
Dear Alan, I once went to a movie in the early 1940’s and it was called ” The Southern Cross” the name really intrigued me , and I figured we were in for a good movie that night, I doubt at the time if I had ever heard of the “Southern Cross ” before. If I remember correctly it was about a ship, and I enjoyed the movie. What I would like to say ,is I am really enjoying seeing your photos of the real ” Southern Cross” , I can’t remember ever seeing pictures of the” Southern Cross” before, so I am enjoying your photo’s, very much. My folks emigrated from England in 1927, and really wanted to go to Australia , but they only had money enough to make it to Canada on the CPR LINE, on the Good ship, Minnidosa, which was sold to Italy in 1935, in 1944 in the war ,it was torpedoed and sunk. I do think it’s a good thing we have Astronomers watching the sky, you can never tell what may be out there or what’s going on , I used to think the sky was just empty space, but by the pictures there’s more out there than any one could imagine. Bye for this time, Frank– from Calgary.