Alby and the Aurora | Andy Davey
Location: Mitchell’s Cottage, Fruitlands, Central Otago | Date: 10/04/2022
Not often I do a selfie, and even more rare it is for Alby to remain still enough for a long exposure night shot. Thankfully, with the near full moon it only had to be for 8 seconds.
It was a glorious night, with the moon helping to light up the historic Mitchell’s Cottage and it’s well maintained grounds. One of my favourite astro shoot locations.
The Aurora Australis appeared exactly as forecast and put on a mesmerising display including rays visible to the naked eye. This shot is a compression of 8 seconds of light and colour captured by the digital camera. We cannot see all this colour with our eyes, the rays appear greyish, and the magenta glow which blocks out the usually visible dim stars, is sensed more than seen.
Metal Print | 40cm x 30cm
Smails Beach Aurora | Paul Le Comte
Location: Smails Beach, Dunedin | Date: 31/08/2019
Due to light pollution Smails Beach at the start of Otago Peninsula is about as close to Dunedin as you want to get when photographing the night sky, but when the sky is glowing with the dancing lights of a Kp5 Aurora Australis, it’s less important. This night was one of those nights, aided by the New Moon dark sky.
This Aurora was one of the last large events of Solar Cycle 24 ( and eleven year cycle between 2008-2019) & was seen over most of the South Island. Smails is a wonderful beach & with Bird Island just off shore there’s plenty of visual interest even without the Milky Way or an Aurora. This is a 7 image panorama captures not only the dancing lights of the Aurora, but a wide view of the galactic core of the Milky Way that was very low in the night sky, with the lights of Dunedin spilling over Lawyer’s Head. Top left of the image is the satellite galaxy to ours, the Large Magellanic Cloud, some 158,000 light years from us.
Framed Print | 50cm x 40cm
Karitane | Kavan Chay
Location: Karitane, Otago | Date: 31/01/2022
One of my personal goals this year was to shoot more astrophotography locally, as I strongly believe that Otago/Southland has some of the best skies in the country. I’d found this particular spot online prior to finding it on a map and planning a Milky Way core shot, but had to wait for the right time.
All of my astrophotography has been with my 50mm lens for a while, which means that I’ve had to adopt a large format panoramic technique when shooting. Part of the challenge here is making sure that when I do this, I get the white balance, exposure and contrast consistent across all frames (as well as get enough frames).
It results in a nicer image, but a lot more work in processing, especially since I also use a heavy star reduction (personal preference).
However, I always keep the larger/brighter stars in my images. For this one, the stars Hadar and Rigil Kentaurus can be spotted at the top of the image (the brightest stars), whilst you can also see the likes of Antares in the Rho Ophiuchi region to the left side of the bright core region.
Nikon Z7, Nikkor Z 50mm f1.8S, Skywatcher Star Adventurer Pro
Framed print, fine art paper (310gsm) | 44cm x 56cm
The Large Magellanic Cloud | Brian Boyle
Location: Speargrass Flat Observatory
Omnipresent and readily visible to the naked eye in our Southern skies, at only 150,000 light year from Earth, the Large Magellanic Cloud is the closest large(ish) galaxy to our own Milky Way galaxy. The image, taken in the light of ionised sulphur (red), hydrogen (green) and oxygen (blue) should the barred spiral nature of this galaxy which has been significantly disrupted by tidal interactions with our much heavier Milky Way galaxy and the less massive Small Magellanic Cloud. How would you feel after going a couple of rounds with a giant 100 time heavier than you? The most remarkable features you can also see in this image are the numerous star-forming regions including the giant Tarantula nebula (the blue region to the upper left of the central bar).. Even from this great distance the Tarantula nebula can be seen with the naked eye. If it were as close to the Earth as the Orion Nebula, it would cast shadows at night.
Nikon FX 200mm f2, ZWO ASI6200MM sensor & Astronomik narrow band filter set. 270 x 180sec exposure.
Metal Print | 60cm x 90cm
Waipapa Aurora | Larryn Rae
Location: Waipapa Lighthouse | Date: 05/02/2022
The amazing Aurora Australis dances above the southern-most lighthouse of mainland New Zealand.
What started out as a rain soaked and gale force wind night, soon cleared and turned into this crazy scene. I was huddled under a blanket for an our while the mini storm abated and then all the colour and texture of the solar storm came out to play.
I have always wanted to capture the aurora here as it faces directly south so stoked to finally get it!
Canon R5 h-alpha modded
Framed Print / Metal print | 60cm x 40cm
Gate to the Milky Way Galaxy – Ahuriri Valley Lindis | Rachel Gillespie
Location: Ahuriri Valley, Lindis | Date: 03/03/2019
The feeling this image gives me is the different layers all captured in one shot, just a bit like life itself, from the weedy flowers on the ground right up to the awe of the magnificent Milky Way Galaxy, Like life we choose where to position our heart and mind, what vibration we choose for ourselves
Canon EOS 6D MKI
15 seconds ISO 8,000 F2.8
Canvas on Frame | 50cm x 33cm