A Winter Night at Heathcote

There's nothing I love more than a cold, frosty and clear winter night under the stars. Central Victoria turned on two great nights on Friday June 7th and Saturday 8th, with just a little cloud in the wee morning hours. I managed to get out and about a bit, to capture the evening conjunction and several other nightscapes a short distance away from the Astronomical Society of Victoria's Leon Mow Dark Sky Site.

Panorama of the Milky Way, Magellenic Clouds and the distant lights of Melbourne and true sky reflection in a dead calm farm dam.
Panorama of the Milky Way, Magellenic Clouds and the distant lights of Melbourne
Canon 6D, 14mm Lens


Venus and Mercury low in the evening twilight, from near Heathcote (Victoria, Australia) and the Astronomical Society of Victoria's Dark Sky SIte.
Venus and Mercury low in the evening twilight
Canon 6D, 200mm lens


Rho Ophiuchi with the Astronomical Society of Victoria's Astrophotography Observatory. Image data captured with Ross Hortin and Mark Justice.
Rho Ophiuchi with the Astronomical Society of Victoria's Astrophotography Observatory
Takahashi Epsilon 160 (535mm, f3.3), Canon 60Da, 5 hours total exposure

The image above was taken from the Astrophotography Observatory at the Astronomical Society of Victoria's Leon Mow Dark Sky Site. The observatory and its equipment is now available to all ASV members to use, once they have completed some training to demonstrate they can use the equipment without breaking it!


Canon 6D, 24mm (left) and 14mm (right) lens

These last two images were processed with a nifty little trick I learned from Colin Legg. To reduce noise in the image while minimising blurring/softness, I took a sequence of images and then imported them into Adobe After Effects and applied 'temproral noise reduction' using the Neat Video plugin which reduces the noise and preserves detail by comparing the image to the adjacent frames, looking for movement vs random noise. It works nicely.. click on the images to open the higher res versions on SmugMug.

All the nightscape images on this page were taken with my new Canon 6D and either the 24mm or 14mm Canon lenses.