In July 2005, the Central West Astronomical Society's astrophotography exhibition and competition was held once again as part of the CWAS AstroFest. Amateur astronomers and photographers from around Australia were invited to take part in the exhibition and to submit their astrophotographs for consideration in the prestigious "David Malin Awards".
A collection of the very finest astrophotographs received were selected to tour the country in a travelling exhibition. On Wednesday, 7 September, the exhibition was offically opened at Sydney Observatory where it will remain for the next two months until November 2005. Click here for the Media Release of the event.
Click on images to see the full-size versions
In the Russell Room of Sydney Observatory, Senior Astronomy Educator, Geoffrey Wyatt, welcomed the assembled guests to the launch of the 2005 CWAS Astrophotography Exhibition at Sydney Observatory. He expressed the gratitude of Sydney Observatory to the CWAS for organising the exhibition and bringing it to Sydney.
On Behalf of the CWAS, John Sarkissian, expressed his profound gratitude and appreciation to the Powerhouse Museum and Sydney Observatory for their continued support of the CWAS AstroFest. He described their support of the AstroFest as a partnership in bringing the Astronomy PowerPak to regional NSW thus enabling people in the Central West to experience what many in the larger cities take for granted. John also thanked Dr Nick Lomb, Curator of Astronomy, and Toner Stevenson, the Observatory Manager, for their support in bringing the exhibition to Sydney and for preparing such a wonderful display. Sincere thanks were also expressed to the CSIRO's ATNF and to Canon Australia for their support of the exhibition and awards, without which none of this would have been possible.
Two of the category winners were also present at the launch - Peter Ward and Maurice Valimberti. Maurice had specially flown in from Melbourne to be present at the launch. In July, he missed the awards presentation in Parkes because of work commitments. Dr David Malin and the CWAS took this opportunity to present him with his certificate and trophy before the assembled guests. Congratulations Maurice.
Dr David Malin then officially declared the exhibition at Sydney Observatory open. In doing so, he remarked how appropriate it was to be exhibiting the astrophotographs at Sydney Observatory, since it was here that some of the world's very first astrophotographs were taken by Henry Russell in the 1890's. He described how some of the same objects photographed by Russell, and displayed in the Russell Room itself, were also photographed by the entrants in the competition. The exhibition at Sydney Observatory clearly demonstrated the evolution of photographic technology.
Following Dr Malin's opening of the exhibition, the guests made their way into the exhibition room adjacent to the Russell Room.
The guests to the launch included Dr David Malin and Mrs Malin, Peter Ward and Maurice Valimberti (category winners), Dr Jessica Chapman (Head, National Facility Support of CSIRO's ATNF), Jonathan Nally (Editor of "Australian Sky and Telescope" magazine), Robert Hollow (CSIRO ATNF Education Officer), Mike Smith (Binocular and Telescope Shop - BINTEL), Dr George Hobbs (CSIRO ATNF), Dr Nick Lomb, Toner Stevenson, Geoffrey Wyatt, Melissa Hulbert, Allan Kreuiter (Sydney Observatory) and John Sarkissian of the CWAS. Apologies from Mr Alan Brightman of Canon Australia.
The evening saw an exceptionally beautiful planetary alignment with Venus, Jupiter and Spica all clustered about the crescent Moon. In the photographs above, the exhibition room can be seen lit from within, just below the North Dome of the Observatory, adjacent to the Russell Room balcony - it was a magical evening!
The CWAS thanks the Powerhouse Museum, Dr Nick Lomb, Toner Stevenson and the staff of Sydney Observatory for hosting the 2005 CWAS Astrophotography Exhibition in Sydney.
The 2005 CWAS Astrophotography Exhibition and Competition was proudly supported by CSIRO's Australia Telescope National Facility and Canon Australia