Stories from Siding Spring Observatory

Tonight we’re opening the photo exhibition Stories from Siding Spring Observatory at Sydney Observatory.

Baner of the Photo Exhibition Stories from Siding Spring Observatory opening tonight at Sydney Observatory. The Exhibition will be opened to the public between 18 April 2013 and 13 August 2013. As the general visit to Sydney Observatory, it is free.
Credit: Á.R.L-S.

This photo exhibition compiles 25 photos plus four time-lapse videos taken at the Siding Spring Observatory by staff of the Australian Astronomical Observatory. I have actively participated in the organization of this photo exhibition, not only providing some photos (see below) but also the 4 time-lapse videos, one of them specifically prepared for this.

The idea of organizing the photo exhibition came after the terrible bushfires that destroyed the Warrumbungle National Park and seriously affected Siding Spring Observatory on 13th January 2013. Luckily any telescope experienced any damage and we were back at the telescopes just 1 month after the bushfires. However, some houses and facilities, including the ANU Lodge, were destroyed in the bushfires. The vegetation at the site was also seriously affected, and indeed the views from there are not now as beautiful as they were before.

As the brochure of the Exhibition quotes,

Siding Spring Observatory sits on a mountaintop in the Warrumbungle Range, 400 km northwest of Sydney and 25 km west of the town of Coonabarabran. Run by the Australian National University, it is Australia’s most important site for optical astronomy.

On 13 January 2013 a bushfire swept through the observatory. Despite damage to some buildings, the telescopes were unharmed and are now back at work.

The photos in this exhibition tell stories of life and work on the mountain. They were taken by staff of the Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO), which operates two telescopes there: the 4-m Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT) and the UK Schmidt telescope.

Yesterday evening some of us were there installing the Exhibition and hanging frames and labels from the walls of the Sydney Observatory:

Working hard to get all frames and labels done on time!
Credit: Á.R.L-S.

Jamie Gilbert (AAO) carefully hanging label to my photo “Day and Night”.
Credit: Á.R.L-S.

The photos I’m providing for the Exhibition are these:

The 3.9m Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT).
Credit: Á.R.L-S.

The 2dF instrument attached to the primary focus of the AAT.
Note that the mirror of the telescope is opened.
Credit: Á.R.L-S.

Day and Night at the AAT.
Credit: Á.R.L-S.

Circumpolar stars over the AAT on a dark winter night.
Credit: Á.R.L-S.

Double Rainbow at the sunrise over the Warrumbungle National Park. Photos taken from the catwalk of the AAT by Amanda Bauer (AAO) and processed and stitched by me.
Credit: Amanda Bauer & Ángel R. López-Sánchez.

but you can find many more photos I took at Siding Spring Observatory during the last years in this album of my Flickr.

However I have to confess that, as Amanda Bauer says in her blog, the best of the photos we have chosen is this spectacular panorama of the Milky Way over the AAT obtained by Jamie Gilbert (AAO):

Panorama of the Milky Way over the Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT) using a CANON 5D Mark III. More information about this image: here.
Credit: Jamie Gilbert (AAO)

and that is why this photo is the largest one!

Jamie Gilbert and the frame with his panorama “The Milky Way over the AAT” during the installation of the photos of the “Stories from Siding Spring Observatory” Exhibition at Sydney Observatory on the evening of 16 April 2013
Credit: Á.R.L-S.

The Photo Exhibition Stories from Siding Spring Observatory is open to the public between 18 April 2013 and 13 August 2013. As the general visit to Sydney Observatory, it is free, so do not miss it if you have a chance!

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3 responses to “Stories from Siding Spring Observatory

  1. Fernando Mejido

    Wow!! Gilbert’s image is amazing, congratulations to him! (And the rest of you for your work) He levels frames in strange ways though…

  2. Pingback: Timelapse video: The Sky over the Anglo-Australian Telescope | The Lined Wolf

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