The AAT dome from the Directors Cottage
AAO image reference MISC 22.     « Previous || Next »

Image and text © 1992-2002, Australian Astronomical Observatory, Photograph by David Malin.

The summit of Siding Spring mountain is dark at night and bright artificial lights are strongly discouraged. However, people have to move around and are obliged to use hand torches (flashlights in the USA). These appear as wavy lines as they are carried by astronomers walking to and from the AAT dome. Also, any movement of a vehicle by night is made on parking lights so that no stray light interferes with observations. This activity has been captured on a long-exposure photograph which was made mainly to record the trails of stars rising in the south east of the AAT dome, which is in the foreground. A moonlit view of this scene is here, and more information on star trail photography is here.

Other star-trail images
AAT 5.     Star trails southwest of the AAT dome
AAT 6.     Star trails around the south celestial pole
MISC 4.   The AAT dome by moonlight
MISC 5.   Dawn and evening twilights reflected in the AAT dome
MISC 6.   Moonset into cloud over the Warrumbungle Range
MISC 7.   Star trails around the AAT dome, after Pinatubo sunset
MISC 12.  Orion's belt rising over the lights of Coonabarabran
MISC 14. South celestial pole star trails
MISC 13. North celestial pole star trails
MISC 15. North and South celestial poles star trails
MISC 18. The view to the north from Siding Spring
MISC 19. Sunset 'star' trail, the track of the setting sun

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Updated by David Malin, 2012, March 17