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Old 28-07-2013, 03:32 AM
RobsRoamings (Robert)
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Suggestions for places to do AP in Oz

Hi gang,

I am planning a vacation to Oz in 2015 to do some astrophotography.

This is probably a big ask but I'm hoping someone can provide me with a suggestion or two about places to go.

I'd like to see a bit of Oz whilst I am there as it will be by first visit to Oz, so I want to include a few days under the stars along with a visit to other sights to see in Oz.

thanks

Rob
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  #2  
Old 28-07-2013, 10:51 AM
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blink138 (Pat)
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hi rob a very open ended question but similarly to the UK once you get outside our main cities the sky become exponentially darker!
if you are thinking of acquiring a vehicle and seeing some of oz well, the skies the limit
the darkest sky i have ever seen was a trip from perth to kalgoorlie in the 1980's on a motorbike
pat
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Old 28-07-2013, 10:54 AM
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glenc (Glen)
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Maybe the Queensland Astrofest.
http://www.qldastrofest.org.au/index...astrofest-2013
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Old 28-07-2013, 11:10 AM
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naskies (Dave)
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Easy... just drive a couple of hours inland away from the major cities and you'll be in dark sky heaven. Check out the light pollution maps:

http://www.blue-marble.de/nightlights/2010

If you drive far enough inland, you can experience some spectacular nights with zero light pollution on the horizons, and the Milky Way will seem overwhelmingly bright
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Old 29-07-2013, 03:34 AM
RobsRoamings (Robert)
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Observing / Ap in Oz

Hi all,

thanks for the replies.

Does the Queensland SP accept anyone?

Also what is the best time to go for clearest skies? - May, June, July or August

regards

Rob
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Old 29-07-2013, 05:28 AM
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glenc (Glen)
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Yes Robert, anyone can go to the Qld Astrofest.
The best time for clear skies in Brisbane is July to Sept.
http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/averag...w_040223.shtml

Here are monthly cloud maps for Australia
http://www.bom.gov.au/jsp/ncc/climat...period=an#maps
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Old 29-07-2013, 06:54 AM
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Lee
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Robert - 30x the land area, 1/3 the population of the UK.... plenty of dark skies.... enjoy!
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Old 29-07-2013, 01:55 PM
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Contact the www.ASNSW.com as well. We have a site about 3hrs drive from Sydney that is open on the new moon weekend. Camping facilities, as well is simple accommodation (beds, showers, kitchen etc) is available. We have a dedicated imaging field which can supply power.
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Old 29-07-2013, 02:37 PM
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el_draco (Rom)
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Pominoz

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobsRoamings View Post
Hi gang,

I'd like to see a bit of Oz whilst I am there as it will be by first visit to Oz, so I want to include a few days under the stars along with a visit to other sights to see in Oz.
Rob,
If you want to see some unique scenery, do Tassie. Everything is close and the climate wont fry you. Night skies are to die for when they are clear, but thats often a hit and miss deal.

Google: Cradle Mountain, Freycinet, Tasman Peninsula, Friendly beaches
Mt Wellington, Tasmanian World Heritage.

Food here is also amazing...

Psst.. dont tell the mainlanders I gave you this info... trying to keep that lot on the other side of the ditch
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Old 29-07-2013, 11:15 PM
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OzEclipse (Joe Cali)
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North by Northwest

Rob,

It's a long way to come to do astrophotography. If this is the main goal of your trip, you really need to base your choice on a combination of finding the very best weather and the most interesting part of the sky first, travel destinations second, star parties last.

For someone from the northern hemisphere our southern winter sky is probably the section of sky you'd most want to see and photograph. During May-September, the north center - north west of the continent is clearest 80+% POPS (percent of possible sunshine) - night skies follow this pattern.

See

http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/averages/maps.shtml

and in particular average cloud maps : -

http://www.bom.gov.au/jsp/ncc/climat...loud/index.jsp

These show cloud in octas for daytime 9am and 3pm. It makes it pretty obvious.

Avoid the east of the continent and definitely the south east where we all live which has moderately bad weather in winter. Just read all the posts here with people whining about the weather. That includes SE Qld where Astrofest is held and central east NSW where the South Pacific Star Party and IIS Astrocamp are held.

The star parties are all within easy travel distance of where the biggest populations are - in the south east in driving range of Brisbane Sydney or Melbourne. The population is biggest in the south east because that's where you find the biggest water supply from rainfall (read cloud) to support those populations.

Presumably you are only coming for a limited time and want to see many nights of completely clear sky. So you should go to the north west of Australia, avoid the south east and DEFINITELY not Tasmania where they have 5-6 octas of cloud on average in the winter. Go there for a holiday but leave the telescope behind. The guy who recommended Tasmania really gave you a bum steer. Worst weather in the continent.

For those of us that live here, we have many opportunities to catch clear skies in the generally cloudy south east and the star parties are great social events but by no means guaranteed clear skies. If you are traveling all the way here and for a limited time around the dark of the moon, I suggest you come here between June and Sept and look at places in areas like : -
  • South of Darwin (Katherine)
  • Kimberley Ranges
  • Broome
These places all have great travel value as well as really clear skies. Of course, there are many other places - we're talking the north west quarter of the continent 1500km x 2000km of the country.

Keep your arrangements fluid and follow the best weather when you get here. No need to book & lock yourself down in advance.

cheers

Joe
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:01 AM
RobsRoamings (Robert)
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Astrophotography in Oz

Hi gang,

thanks for the replies with all the advice and pointers for places to go and things to do. I'll do some following up on those websites.

so,
Tazmania - sounds interesting. Any chance you can put me up for a week or so? - I'll be bringing my AP kit with me - AstroTrak :>)
Queensland Star Party - also sounds interesting but I'm not planning on lugging a tent across from the UK.

If you look at my website - www.robs-roamings.info then Oz is almost the only continent I haven't visited

I'll be travelling alone so driving across Oz is not something I would be keen to do.

BTW I'm off to Namibia stargazing in 2014...... but I have always wanted to visit Oz and take the opportunity to do some astronomy whilst I am there.

regards

Rob
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:25 AM
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glenc (Glen)
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Queensland Star Party - also sounds interesting but I'm not planning on lugging a tent across from the UK.

Rob, you don't need a tent, they have bedrooms, bathrooms and a dining room. Also it is clear most nights till after midnight then fog rolls in.
http://www.qldastrofest.org.au/index.php/overview
http://www.campduckadang.com.au/inde...=149&Itemid=47
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Old 05-08-2013, 04:24 PM
Camknox (Cameron)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blink138 View Post
hi rob a very open ended question but similarly to the UK once you get outside our main cities the sky become exponentially darker!
if you are thinking of acquiring a vehicle and seeing some of oz well, the skies the limit
the darkest sky i have ever seen was a trip from perth to kalgoorlie in the 1980's on a motorbike
pat
+1 to this. In fact this weekend will be my first astro-trip away from the wife and kids and I intend to head across to Southern Cross (from Kalgoorlie) and then veer off into the bushland to find a nice dark site. The last time I did the drive at night, even with the spot lights on the 4WD blazing like suns I could still see the milky-way as clear as a picture. I'm trembling with excitement to see how it will look with everything switched off and dark adapted eyes.
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