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Photographers find beauty in the stars above WA

Unexpected conditions reveal an ethereal vision of the Benedictine abbey at New Norcia.
Unexpected conditions reveal an ethereal vision of the Benedictine abbey at New Norcia.Picture: Sandino Pusta

We are used to seeing the stunning WA landscape bathed in bright, clear sunlight, but as it turns out, our State is just as stunning after dark.

Images captured for the eighth Astrofest Astrophotography Exhibition showcase the beauty of WA with the lights out.

“It’s just such an amazing subject,” curator Dr John Goldsmith said.

“We have some lovely entries this year featuring the supermoon, we have a lot of images of deep space objects done by people using good telescopes.

“We have some superb planetary images and some incredibly detailed images of Jupiter and Saturn and even an example of the international space station as it transited across the face of the Moon.”

A panorama of the night sky over Guilderton Lighthouse just north of Yanchep.
A panorama of the night sky over Guilderton Lighthouse just north of Yanchep.Picture: Trevor Dobson
The Prawn Nebula in Scorpius.
The Prawn Nebula in Scorpius.Picture: Paul Sartory
NGC 5139, Omega Centauri.
NGC 5139, Omega Centauri.Picture: Fabian Rodriguez Frustaglia
Full Moon over Lake Koorkoordine.
Full Moon over Lake Koorkoordine.Picture: Kylie Gee

The annual exhibition and competition has attracted more than 200 individual entries this year from 40 photographers. Dr Goldsmith said the clear WA skies made it a perfect place to do some stargazing.

“Astro photographers love to travel to really remote places all over the State and record these amazing images,” Dr Goldsmith said.

“We are just so fortunate to be in WA and have the dark night skies that (allow us to) see the Milky Way. That’s one of the reasons why the photography that comes out of WA is so good.”

Lagoon Nebula.
Lagoon Nebula.Picture: Fabian Rodriguez Frustaglia
The Wanderer.
The Wanderer.Picture: Michael Goh
The Outlier focused on the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope precursor instrument located at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory.
The Outlier focused on the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope precursor instrument located at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory.Picture: Pete Wheeler

He said the popular exhibition has seen the skills of WA photographers improve each year.

“The quality of the images and the range of astrophotography from WA has just blossomed,” he said.

The exhibition plans to tour to regional WA.

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