Friday, 17 February 2012

The Art and Science of Astrophotography

Welcome to the Astro Photography Australia blog! This is a new intiative by myself (Roger Groom, the photographer behind Astro Photography Australia) to bring you the best of artistic astrophotography, together with the science of astrophotography and amateur astronomy.

In this blog I hope to bring to you artistic and visually appealing astrophotography as well as astrophotography and knowledge that gives some insight  to the finer details behind what you see in a beautiful photograph of the night sky.

Think back to when you first saw the night sky...

Let's go back to where Astro Photography Australia began, and the most recognisable stars of the southern night sky, the Southern Cross (constellation of Crux):

Many of us can remember as a child having experiences such as being driven home at night and seeing stars out the car window, or perhaps being out late at night at a family barbeque standing on a lawn with the stars overhead. For myself it is the Southern Cross and constellation of Orion that I remember the most. It was the Southern Cross which I first photographed as an astrophotographer.

Maybe you have a similar memory of the night sky from your childhood?

The Art: The above photograph of the Southern Cross is one of the very first I sold as a print. It has the sparkle and colour to the stars that you often see in the sky, and takes me back to the aesthetic appeal of the night sky.

The Science: It is only when I delved deeper in to astronomy and astrophotography that I learned the above photograph includes the star Alpha Crux which is actually a binary star system, the Coal Sack which is a dark nebula (cloud of interstellar gas and dust), the open cluster called the Jewel Box, and many previously hidden secrets waiting to be photographed. 


  1. I was happy just to see the moon - but your post reminded me of my son's experience with the moon - he loves it from books, songs etc but is usually in bed before you can see it in the night sky - a while ago at full moon though he was still up and my husband excitedly took him outside, promising him the "real moon" - but since it wasn't a crescent, he didn't believe it was the moon! (He was 18 months old so give him time ...!)

  2. :) Not surprising considering the "cartoonised" depictions of the moon children are shown (which is fine). That reminds me of someone I know who has a daughter who would not go to sleep without seeing the moon. They were thinking of sticking a picture of it to the roof of the bedroom (imagine cloudy nights!).