The Lagoon Nebula

Lagoon Nebula

The Lagoon Nebula
[PD] [Public Domain] Dylan O'Donnell

CATEGORY: Photos - Astrophotography
VIEWS: 1813
UPLOADED: 2014-07-18 [ enlarge ] [ download jpg ]

This is my first attempt at the Lagoon Nebula (M8) and after much fiddling and cursing in the dark I managed to grab a few short frames that were relatively ok. About 4 or 5 exposures stacked together. Though not as sharp or detailed as I would like (the view slipped behind a tree just as I was fine tuning my equipment), Nebula are easily my favourite targets in the sky. The colours here are natural, just as my RGB camera captured them. The diffraction spikes however, are added in post processing for that classic retro star shine that older lenses and equipment would produce. Interestingly, they still feature regularly in NASA and award winning astro imagery but are not captured by modern telescope optics!



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A meteor

Little Meteor

[PD] [Public Domain] Dylan O'Donnell 2010

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UPLOADED : 2014-07-17
CATEGORY : Photos - Astrophotography

Hello there little meteor! You flew through the universe for aeons and came into my life briefly, until my planet burnt you to a crisp before you even had a chance to say hello. Now nobody knows you existed except for the small photons you deposited into the CMOS chip on my Nikon camera. Such is life.

The Milky Way

Coolamon Scenic Drive Lookout

[PD] [Public Domain] Dylan O'Donnell 2010

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UPLOADED : 2014-07-16
CATEGORY : Photos - Astrophotography

Here is the view from the lookout at Coolamon Scenic Drive, just before the turnoff to Byron Bay. That is, if you look up, and not out.

An Iridium Flare

Iridium 59

[PD] [Public Domain] Dylan O'Donnell 2010

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UPLOADED : 2014-07-10
CATEGORY : Photos - Astrophotography
VIEWS 1283

My first iridium flare!

Which is a fancy word for the quick little glint of light that comes off satellite solar panels as they turn in the sky. They look like mini shooting stars. Trippy right?

It takes split second precision to catch them, especially when the sky is still quite bright so exposures are short. This one was a 4 second shot. Thank god for smartphones, which can predict and time them accurately wherever you are.

It is a little obscured by the branches, but I was thrilled to see Mars, Spica and Saturn all in frame when I looked closely later at home.

The Cape Byron Lighthouse

Star Trails over Byron Bay Lighthouse

[PD] [Public Domain] Dylan O'Donnell 2010

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UPLOADED : 2014-07-03
CATEGORY : Photos - Astrophotography
VIEWS 1432

Thanks for all the great feedback about the last lighthouse photo I posted! It was featured on Common Ground Byron Bay last night and quickly gathered thousands of views and over 500 likes. Here is the other lighthouse photo that I shared online that a lot of people liked. It is a composite of 50 x 15 second exposures and gives you a good sense of how the earth rotates.

The smiling moon at sunset

High Dynamic Rage Moon

[PD] [Public Domain] Dylan O'Donnell 2010

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UPLOADED : 2014-07-02
CATEGORY : Photos - Astrophotography

Did you know that you can still see the full moon, even when it is not full?

In the right conditions as a partial moon falls into a sunset, the sky is both dark and light enough to see the craters on the lit and unlit parts of the moon at the same time.

You can see this in this high dynamic range photo, a composite of 2 exposures through a 4 inch SCT telescope. If you look closely, you can even see the sunlight glistening on the lunar peaks and hilltops at the edges, and the high rim around the 555km wide Mare Crisium crater at the bottom of the frame.