Astrophotography shares wonders of night sky in new exhibition

Image credit line: Aurora in the East Fjords, Jarrod Andrews. Aurora borealis over Búlandstindur mountain, East Fjords, Iceland. Canon EOS R5 camera with Samyang XP 14mm f/2.4 lens. A four second exposure at f/2.4 and ISO 1600.

Image: Aurora in the East Fjords, Jarrod Andrews. Aurora borealis over Búlandstindur mountain, East Fjords, Iceland. Canon EOS R5 camera with Samyang XP 14mm f/2.4 lens. A four second exposure at f/2.4 and ISO 1600.

The Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery has opened its latest exhibition, featuring astrophotography from across Australia.

Held annually by the Central West Astronomical Society, the David Malin Astrophotography Awards are open to Australian astronomers and photographers.

Showcasing top entries from the 2022 Awards, the Southern Sky Astrophotography: 2022 David Malin Awards exhibition at the Museum at Inveresk explores a series of awe-inspiring astrophotography.

Dr David Malin is an Adjunct Professor of Scientific Photography at RMIT University in Melbourne, and until 2001 was a photographic scientist-astronomer with the Anglo-Australian Observatory (AAO).

Born in England in March 1941, Dr Malin moved to Australia in 1975 leaving behind an 18-year career as a chemist to pursue a career with the AAO.

Dr Malin is well known for their approach to astrophotography information extraction, leading to many interesting astronomical discoveries and enhancing knowledge of photographic science.

In 1987, Dr Malin discovered a 'proto galaxy', later named Malin-1, making history as one of the faintest objects to ever be discovered by a ground-based telescope.

As part of the 2022 Awards, entries were judged by previous Award winners Phil Hart and Alex Cherney, with the overall winner selected by Dr Malin AM.

The competition aims to encourage photographers to use their vision, imagination and skill to produce inspiring and beautiful images of the sky.

There are eight award categories plus an Australasian Sky Guide cover award from the Powerhouse Museum in NSW.

Launceston Mayor Danny Gibson said it was brilliant to welcome a diverse range of astrophotography to Tasmania, exclusively on display at QVMAG.

"We have a big year at QVMAG, and our visitors can expect to find new exhibitions, events and programs taking place each month," Mayor Gibson said.

"The skill, time and effort taken by photographers to capture our night sky in such detail will leave visitors in awe.

"It's great to welcome this exhibition to Northern Tasmania and I encourage astronomy-lovers of all ages to make the most of this while on display exclusively at QVMAG."

General Manager Creative Arts and Cultural Services Shane Fitzgerald said this was one of many fantastic exhibitions to come in 2023.

"To see these images up close is nothing short of amazing," Fitzgerald said.

"This free exhibition is a fantastic way to explore our universe through the night sky and learn about the different astrophotography methods used by photographers featured."

Launceston Planetarium astronomer Chris Arkless said this exhibition was a wonderful insight into the mystery of our universe.

"The clear night sky is always a rewarding view. Those with patience can see a lot just with their eyes from the back yard," Arkless said.

"Binoculars or a telescope can reveal the spectacular grandeur of the universe in which we live, but it takes a camera to reveal it in all its glory.

"Our eyes are not good at picking up colour at low light levels. A camera on a long exposure can reveal wonders.

"This exhibition has some marvelous images, and not all are taken with expensive cameras mounted on large telescopes... some are from smartphones."

The Southern Sky Astrophotography: 2022 David Malin Awards are on display at the Queen Victoria Museum at Inveresk from 1 February to 30 April 2023 with free entry. 

Issued 1 February 2023.