Golden Path.

Submitted by: Graham Palmer at Thu Apr 13 07:54:01 2006 UTC

The sun lights the way across the port of Napier. Photo details: Minolta camera, 1 second exposure with a 175mm zoom lens and a 2 times converter @ f-6, Kodak Elitechrome 200 slide film. Image copyright to Graham Palmer. Contact me at gramy@globe.net.nz

Stardate Sunset.

Submitted by: Graham Palmer at Mon Apr 10 11:46:01 2006 UTC

Stardate is an annual star-party held outside Hastings, New Zealand. This spectacular sunset was the herald for a good nights viewing on January 22, 2004. Photo details: Minolta camera, 1/30th second exposure with a 200mm lens @ f-5.6, Kodak Elitechrome 100 slide film. Image copyright to Graham Palmer. Contact me at gramy@globe.net.nz

October 29, 2003 (0808 UTC)

Submitted by: Graham Palmer at Sun Nov 12 10:54:01 2006 UTC

As twilight was fading to black, and a three day old moon hung in the sky, I prepared for my first real attempt at photographing an aurora. I looked south and saw a faint, but definite pink glow illuminating the clouds. This got me excited - It never occurred to me that aurora could be seen during twilight before. I took this image to see if my eyes had been teasing me... They weren't! It was the start of a night to remember. Photo details: Minolta camera, one minute exposure with a 28mm lens @ f-2.8, Kodak Elitechrome 200 slide film. Image copyright to Graham Palmer. Contact me at gramy@globe.net.nz

October 29, 2003 (0829 UTC)

Submitted by: Graham Palmer at Sun Nov 12 10:54:01 2006 UTC

After the twilight glows, there was a period of little activity. I feared that the show might whimper out. I needn't have worried: At 0828 UTC the sky came to life like someone had switched a light on! The obvious red glow back lit some cloud that had gathered during the lull, showing the contrast between black and the vibrant colours of this aurora. Photo details: Minolta camera, 30 second exposure with a 28mm lens @ f-2.8, Kodak Elitechrome 200 slide film. Image copyright to Graham Palmer. Contact me at gramy@globe.net.nz

October 29, 2003 (0833 UTC)

Submitted by: Graham Palmer at Sun Nov 12 10:54:01 2006 UTC

The evening continued to darken as the first real sign of rays peeked above the cloud tops. During this time the whole sky seemed to have a pink tinge. Photo details: Minolta camera, 30 second exposure with a 28mm lens @ f-2.8, Kodak Elitechrome 200 slide film. Image copyright to Graham Palmer. Contact me at gramy@globe.net.nz

October 29, 2003 (0839 UTC)

Submitted by: Graham Palmer at Sun Nov 12 10:36:01 2006 UTC

As the cloud rolled back, it revealed a beautiful display of southern lights. Pink curtains, purple rays, and the top edge of the green arc all became visible. Photo details: Minolta camera, 20 second exposure with a 50mm lens @ f-1.7, Kodak Elitechrome 200 slide film. Image copyright to Graham Palmer. Contact me at gramy@globe.net.nz

October 29, 2003 (0842 UTC)

Submitted by: Graham Palmer at Sun Nov 12 10:36:01 2006 UTC

At the height of the display, the south-western sky was ablaze with multicoloured rays. the yellowing near the horizon is the top edge of the green arc, rarely seen from this latitude (South 39.6 degrees). Photo details: Minolta camera, 10 second exposure with a 50mm lens @ f-1.7, Kodak Elitechrome 200 slide film. Image copyright to Graham Palmer. Contact me at gramy@globe.net.nz

October 29, 2003 (0845 UTC)

Submitted by: Graham Palmer at Sun Nov 12 10:36:01 2006 UTC

These blue/purple rays reached high into the sky as the display wore on. At left is the Southern Cross, with the bright pointer stars near top centre. Photo details: Minolta camera, 20 second exposure with a 50mm lens @ f-1.7, Kodak Elitechrome 200 slide film. Image copyright to Graham Palmer. Contact me at gramy@globe.net.nz

October 29, 2003 (0858 UTC)

Submitted by: Graham Palmer at Sun Nov 12 10:16:01 2006 UTC

Near the end of the first hour things went quiet, except for this stubborn ray that lingered in the south-east after display had paused. Photo details: Minolta camera, 20 second exposure with a 50mm lens @ f-1.7, Kodak Elitechrome 200 slide film. Image copyright to Graham Palmer. Contact me at gramy@globe.net.nz

Passage Of Time.

Submitted by: Graham Palmer at Fri Nov 10 08:18:01 2006 UTC

The heavens sweep through time behind the 6" F-18 refractor housed at the Phoenix Observatory near Carterton, New Zealand. This fine telescope once belonged to Peter Read, who for many years presented a popular and very educational astronomy TV show. The telescope is now owned by Carter observatory and is on long-term loan to the Phoenix Astronomical Society, where it has access to near pristine night skies. Beautiful to look at, and beautiful to look through. Photo details: Minolta camera, 1 hour exposure with a 20mm lens @ f-3.8, Fuji Provia 400F slide film. Image copyright to Graham Palmer. Contact me at gramy@globe.net.nz

South Celestial Pole.

Submitted by: Graham Palmer at Sat Apr 8 07:49:01 2006 UTC

Like the axel of a wheel, the Earth's geographic poles are a point of rotation. In the Northern hemisphere, the North star, Polaris, gives a guide to the point directly above the Arctic. In the south, there is no such star. Down here, early navigators used a number of points in the sky, including the southern cross, to find their compass directions. Using these methods, the Polynesians sailed the mighty Pacific Ocean and eventually found their way to New Zealand, where this photo was taken. Like water going down a plug-hole, the stars spiral the south celestial pole in this 20 minute exposure. The main exposure was 20 minutes, then the lens was covered for two minutes before being re-exposed for a further minute to show the individual stars. Photo details: Minolta camera, 20 minute exposure with a 28mm lens @ f-2.8, Kodak Elitechrome 200 slide film. Image copyright to Graham Palmer. Contact me at gramy@globe.net.nz

Sun-Dog and Thunder

Submitted by: Graham Palmer at Wed Apr 5 12:06:01 2006 UTC

The heat of a Hawke's Bay summer produced this spectacular thunder head on January 3, 2004. The anvil stretched out a remarkably long way in the prevailing westerly wind. As the sun lowered itself into some distant cloud, a sun-dog appeared beneath the anvil, and for a while, was almost as bright as the sun itself. Photo details: Minolta camera, 1/500th second exposure with a 28mm lens @ f-2.8, Kodak Elitechrome 200 slide film. Image copyright to Graham Palmer. Contact me at gramy@globe.net.nz

Mars Rising.

Submitted by: Graham Palmer at Wed Apr 5 08:43:01 2006 UTC

This image of Mars was taken from the Phoenix observatory outside Carterton, New Zealand, on July 26, 2003. As Mars approached opposition, it weaved its way through the water constellation of Aquarius. Photo details: Minolta camera, 10 minute exposure with a 28mm lens @ f-2.8, Kodak Elitechrome 200 slide film. Image copyright to Graham Palmer. Contact me at gramy@globe.net.nz

Sun Spot 0652

Submitted by: Graham Palmer at Tue Apr 4 12:11:01 2006 UTC

This image was taken on July 25th, 2004. A spectacular group had developed in the preceeding days, and was now starting to fire - Earth directed flares sparked mild auroras the next two nights. Photo details: Minolta camera @ prime focus through my 10 inch reflecting telescope, white light filter, 1/500th second exposure on Kodak Elitechrome 200 slide film. Image copyright to Graham Palmer. Contact me at gramy@globe.net.nz

Middle-Earth.

Submitted by: Graham Palmer at Tue Apr 4 11:48:01 2006 UTC

This image was taken on the morning of November 6, 2003. I was camping with a friend in the Kaweka ranges, North Island, New Zealand. The shrill cry of a kiwi woke me to the frosty morning. I got up and saw the near full moon illuminating a river of fog in the valley below. I just couldn't resist this shot. Photo details: Minolta camera, 40 second exposure with a 28mm lens @ f-2.8, Kodak Elitechrome 200 slide film. Image copyright to Graham Palmer. Contact me at gramy@globe.net.nz

Scorpio & Starbirth.

Submitted by: Graham Palmer at Tue Apr 4 11:32:01 2006 UTC

This image shows the constellation of Scorpio embedded in the central hub of the Milky-way. The star-fields of Sagittarius are intertwined with massive clouds of dark gas and dust, clearly seen here. However, some of these clouds are not dark. Numerous pink and red patches signify areas of star-formation, where the cold hydrogen clouds have been ionised by the scorching radiation of hot, young stars. Photo details: Minolta camera, 10 minute exposure with a 28mm lens @ f-2.8, Kodak Elitechrome 200 slide film. Image copyright to Graham Palmer. Contact me at gramy@globe.net.nz

Small Magellanic Cloud.

Submitted by: Graham Palmer at Fri Nov 3 03:40:01 2006 UTC

While similar in size to the Large Magellanic Cloud, the SMC appears smaller and fainter, due to its greater distance. It resides approximately 195,000 light years away in the constellation of Tucana. A reasonable sized telescope will reveal a myriad of wonders, including one of the best globular clusters in the whole sky. Known as 47 Tucana, this glob contains in the region of 100,000 stars and can easily be resolved. Photo details: Canon 350D, 10 minute exposure with a Sigma 70-200mm lens, ISO 400 @ f-2.8. Image copyright to Graham Palmer. Contact me at gramy@globe.net.nz

Large Magellanic Cloud.

Submitted by: Graham Palmer at Fri Nov 3 03:22:01 2006 UTC

Described in some books as a 'barred-spiral' galaxy, the LMC is the tattered remains of a once beautiful spiral. Now containing about 10 billion stars, it may once have been three or four times as massive. The lost material now forms part of our own Milky-Way, as well as a vast stream of stars and gas, reaching in a loop between the two. The luminous patch near the image centre is the Famous Tarantula Nebula - a star forming region of truly massive proportions. One day, the LMC will be swallowed by the Milky-Way, but until then, it makes a lovely night sky companion. Photo details: Canon 350D, 2 1/2 minute exposure with a Sigma 70-200mm lens, ISO 800 @ f-2.8. Image copyright to Graham Palmer. Contact me at gramy@globe.net.nz

Clouds Of Magellan

Submitted by: Graham Palmer at Sat Mar 24 06:05:01 2007 UTC

When the Portuguese explorer Magellan ventured into the southern hemisphere, he noticed two strange blobs of light that lingered in the night sky. Unable to give an explanation of what they were, he simply called them clouds. They are now known as the clouds of Magellan. These objects are in fact our closest galactic neighbours, at between 170,000 and 195,000 light years distant. Each of these dwarf galaxies contains around 10 billion stars, and are popular targets for amateur telescopes. Beautiful as they are, they are also doomed; they are believed to be trapped by the Milky Way's gravity, and are destined to be assimilated into her. Photo details: Minolta camera, 11 minute exposure with a 28mm lens @ f-2.8, Kodak Elitechrome 200 slide film. Image copyright to Graham Palmer. Contact me at gramy@globe.net.nz

New Zealand Aurora, March 2001.

Submitted by: Graham Palmer at Tue Mar 28 09:44:01 2006 UTC

This picture was taken on March 31 2001 from the middle of Hastings, New Zealand. A large sunspot group had unleashed a massive CME the day before, resulting in one of the best auroral displays for several years. For me, this was all new, as this was my very first one. (what a way to get started!) The photo location was inside the city itself, demonstrating the brightness of this display. Bright rays persisted for what seemed an eternity, well after I had finished my only roll of 100asa film... Image copyright to Graham Palmer. Contact me at gramy@globe.net.nz

Eclipse Montage - July 2000 Lunar Eclipse.

Submitted by: Graham Palmer at Sat Apr 8 06:45:01 2006 UTC

This series of images were taken on July 16, 2000. Starting at 10:47 UTC and lasting until 17:04 UTC. This was dubbed as the "thousand year eclipse" because it was the longest lunar eclipse for a thousand years... Totality, when the entire moon was in shadow, lasted 1 hour and 47 minutes. During this time, the moon turned an eerie copper colour and looked more like Mars than our usual lunar neighbour... The eclipse was also accompanied by a beautiful display of meteors from three showers. Truly a night to remember. Photo details: The pics were taken east of Palmerton North, New Zealand, with a Minolta SLR camera @ prime focus through a home built 6" telescope. The exposures ranged from 1/250th to 1 second. Image copyright to Graham Palmer. I can be contacted at gramy@globe.net.nz

New Zealand Fire-Ball, July 7th, 1999.

Submitted by: Graham Palmer at Sat Apr 8 07:00:02 2006 UTC

On the 7th of July 1999, at about 04:12 UT, A daylight fireball blazed across the North Island of New Zealand. Witnesses described a series of bright flashes, combined with the sound of explosions, as a one metre piece of debris, probably from the asteroid field, blazed in a fire-ball across the sky. Not all of it burned.. In some areas, many people said they even felt the ground shake... (confirmed by Seismographs) At the end of it all, a one hundred & eighty kilometre-long smoke trail was left drifting over the eastern half of the North Island. This image was taken about 45 minutes later, as the cloud drifted East over Hastings. I was unaware of the meteor, until I saw this amazing blue cloud. I took several photos and only later did I learn the truth of its origin. Contact me at gramy@globe.net.nz

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