Being an astronomer and observing the night sky is wonderful, there is nothing else like it! However traveling comes a close second which is probably just as well as you have to travel a lot if you want to escape the insidious light pollution which plagues most urban area's in just about every country.
Travel, it is said broadens the mind, which is undeniably true but it also gives a great opportunity to get some good photographs!
These are a few pictures which I have taken during observing trips.Bill Ward
This one (above) is of me with the 18 inch Upsalla Schmidt telescope on Siding Spring Mountain, Australia (1998) which I used to take the picture on the right
This is the Eta Carina nebula and it is probably the most spectacular (and my favorite) object in the night sky!
Another shot taken with an ancient 85mm @ f2.4 portrait lens on a trip to Australia. (2004)
Other Schmidt Telescopes that I have worked at/observed with are, on the left the 1m Calar Alto Schmidt Telescope and on the right the 1.2m United Kingdom Schmidt Telescope.
It is rather sad that as modern technology advances photographic instruments such as these are becoming obsolete (That same technology might just give some of them a new lease of life though!). They are fantastic telescopes to work with!
Observatories are worlds unto themselves, located in remote and spectacular settings. Like Calar Alto Observatory in southern Spain, here sitting under cloudless skies waiting for nightfall...
They are all truly special places.
I had wanted to go to Australia ever since reading about the United Kingdom Schmidt Telescope when I was at school. I never imagined that one day I would actually get a chance to work at that particular telescope!
Australia is full of surprises, This is what I expected to see...
and what I didn't expect to see...!
There are however hazards when observing from remote locations...
Fairly harmless I'm told but I wasn't going to be the one holding the tape measure (just in case!)
Pictures of the locations and other scenes from my observing trips
More will be added as time and re-processing permits
I hope you liked the pictures
Copyright is maintained. If you would like to use any of these pictures please ask.
If you have any questions about these photographs or astronomy and telescopes in general please don't hesitate to get in touch.
I can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
My telephone number is 0141 330 6668, office hours.
Rankine Building, University of Glasgow, Oakfield Avenue,Glasgow, G12 8LT, Scotland, U.K.
"The greatest product of astronomy is the learning about new ways of thinking, new ways of perceiving...,
Astronomy is for the soul..."
Benjamin Peary, Astronomer, c1990
Bill Ward FRAS, Last check Feb 2012.