In July 2020, the Central West Astronomical Society held its annual astrophotography
competition. Amateur astronomers and photographers from around
Australia were invited to take part in the competition and to submit
their astrophotographs for consideration in the prestigious
"David Malin Awards". Due to the
unique COVID-19 restrictions in place throughout this period, a
special online presentation was held on Saturday, 18 July 2020, to announce the winning images.
This year's competition had eight categories:
Themed Section - "Astrophotography with your Smartphone"
Junior (18 years old and younger)
The photographs were judged by world-renowned astrophotographer, Dr
David Malin, without David being aware of the identity of the
photographers. The winners of the "David Malin
Awards" were announced on Saturday, 18 July 2020, during a special
online, Zoom presentation attended by the competition entrants,
and the members of the Central West Astronomical Society.
It was not just technical skill that was awarded. The prizes went to
pictures that captured the beauty of the sky and the intrinsic interest
of astronomy in an aesthetically pleasing manner.
Mr Jeff Darmanin, a News Corp. Picture Editor, judged the "Photo Editor's Choice" awards and gave his pick from each category. His overall winner was awarded the Photo Editor's Choice Award.
Last year's exhibitions were a resounding success. The two parallel exhibitions were viewed by over 200,000 people Australia-wide.
After the COVID-19 restrictions are eased further, this year's permanent exhibition will be on show at the CSIRO Parkes
Observatory's Visitor's Centre for one year from September. A
second touring exhibition, organised by the Museum of Applied Arts and
Sciences, will travel to selected venues, beginning with Sydney
To have received any one of these awards is a great honour. Congratulations!
Citation: "Mark Polsen's Tranquillity Base has it all, perfect setting, under a beautiful sky with the moon and Venus peeping through the trees. The delicate sky and horizon colours of twilight are mirrored in the water, behind the trees."
Citation: "The Gum Nebula is a very faint and large cloud of glowing gas, extending over 30 degrees across the southern sky. All this makes it extremely difficult to photograph, and Troy Casswell image is the best I have ever seen."
Citation: "Tenuous and gas and dust disperse in space give this image a mysterious feel, partly because it seems lit from within by a hidden source of light. It is also quite large and faint, so it presents a significant challenge to the astrophotographer."
Citation: "Among very good crop of images, Peter Ward's Hadley Rille stood out because of its composition, well chosen shading, with a wealth of subtle detail, including buried craters and the the Apollo 15 lunar landing site."
Winner: Alex Cherney
Theme - "Astrophotography with your Smartphone"
Citation: "Not so long ago the idea of taking a photograph of anything with a phone was considered madness. Here we see an image of the Milky Way with pin-sharp stars and delicate colours that would have demanded a professional-grade camera and expensive lenses less a decade ago. It was made with a smartphone, powerful proof of the advance of technology -- and inspiration."
Citation: "The title is a song to honour the local Inuvialuit peoples of the Arctic
Circle, while the video captures a beautifully varied aurora in a wild and
wonderful setting. The music is well chosen and there's an interesting
northern winter sky above. Orion rises over the horizon towards the end,
with perfect timing."
Citation: "An interesting time-lapse with frames selected from 372 nights of imaging,
organised by local sidereal time. It runs for 20 seconds and the most
obvious features are the 1000 or so meteors, but it also reveals the
dramatically varying colour, brightness and seeing conditions over a year."
Owing to the unique COVID-19
situation and the associated social distancing measures in
place, the presentation of the 2020
CWAS "David Malin Awards" was held during a special online Zoom
presentation, on Saturday, 18 July 2020. It was attended by
the competition entrants, and the members of the Central West
The smiling participants in the special online
John Sarkissian's introduction to the presentations
The competition represented entrants from every State and Territory of Australia (NSW, Qld,
Vic, SA, WA, Tas and ACT).
The quality of the images was a testament to the great skill and talent of Australian astrophotographers.
The very finest images will be exhibited in two parallel
exhibitions. The first will be on show at the CSIRO Parkes Observatory's Visitors
Centre, and will be officially opened later in the year, when the
COVID-19 restictions have been further eased and it is safe to travel
and congregate again. It will remain at Parkes for the entire year. The second
exhibition is being organised by the Museum of Applied Arts and
Sciences and will tour Australia, beginning with Sydney
Observatory. Last year's exhibitions were a resounding success, with
over 200,000 people viewing the
exhibitions Australia-wide. As such, it is the largest photographic
exhibition in Australia, in terms of its reach and the number of visitations.
Dr David Malin's presentation and announcement of the
Remarks by Mark Polsen - Overall Winner of
CWAS "David Malin Awards"
Congratulations to all the winners!
Start preparing your astrophotos for the 2021 CWAS "David Malin Awards" and share with the wider public your enthusiasm for the
grandeur and beauty of astronomy.
The 2020 CWAS "David Malin Awards" was proudly supported by
Comments and Enquiries: John
Sarkissian of the AstroFest Organising Committee