Australia is known for its stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and vibrant cities, but it's also a fantastic location for stargazing and astrophotography. With its clear skies and minimal light pollution, Australia offers excellent opportunities to capture stunning shots of the night sky. Here are six of the best things to photograph in the night sky in Australia this month.
Milky Way Galaxy
The Milky Way is a stunning sight to behold, and it's visible in the night sky from April to September in Australia. Photographing the Milky Way requires a bit of planning, as you'll need to find a dark location away from city lights. Head to a remote location in the outback or a national park for the best results. Use a tripod and a fast lens with a wide aperture to capture the detail and color of the galaxy.
The Moon is always an excellent subject for night sky photography. Its phases change throughout the month, offering a variety of opportunities for unique shots. Consider using a telephoto lens to capture the details of the Moon's craters and valleys, or try a wide-angle lens to capture the Moon in context with the surrounding landscape.
Note: This month's full moon falls on Friday, 5th May. It is actually better to photograph the moon when it's more than half visible, but not completely visible. This is known as the "gibbous" moon.
The Southern Cross
The Southern Cross is one of the most recognizable constellations in the southern hemisphere. It's visible year-round from most locations in Australia, making it a great subject for night sky photography. Use a wide-angle lens to capture the constellation in the context of the surrounding sky.
Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars are visible in the night sky this month, offering excellent opportunities for astrophotography. Use a telephoto lens to capture the details of these planets, including their distinctive rings and moons.
The Eta Aquarids meteor shower is visible in the night sky from late April to mid-May. This meteor shower produces up to 30 shooting stars per hour, making it an exciting subject for night sky photography. Find a dark location away from city lights and use a tripod to capture the streaks of light as they flash across the sky.
The Aurora Australis, or Southern Lights, is a stunning natural light display that's visible from southern Australia. It's caused by particles from the sun colliding with the Earth's magnetic field, creating a stunning display of colors in the night sky. Check the Aurora Australis forecast before heading out to photograph this phenomenon, and use a tripod and a wide-angle lens to capture the colors and movement of the aurora.
In conclusion, Australia offers incredible opportunities for night sky photography this month, from the Milky Way to the Aurora Australis. Whether you're a seasoned astrophotographer or just starting out, be sure to plan your shoot carefully, choose the right equipment, and find a dark location away from city lights for the best results.
To learn more, why not try one of our astrophotography tours and workshops?