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A 2dF night at the Anglo-Australian Telescope: new timelapse

Angel Lopez-Sanchez Robot Gantry Star trails
Dr Ángel R. López-Sánchez A still from the timelapse: The 2dF robot gantry moving optical fibers A still from the timelapse: Equatorial star trails over the Anglo-Australian Telescope
Media assistance: Helen Sim 
+61-(0)2-9372-4251 (office)
+61-(0)419-635-905 (mob.)
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23 August 2012

Details

The beauty of the night sky over the Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT) at Siding Spring Observatory (near Coonabarabran, NSW, Australia) is truly inspiring. The video A 2dF night at the Anglo-Australian Telescope is an assembly of 14 time-lapse sequences taken at the AAT.

It was made by astronomy research fellow Dr Ángel R. López-Sánchez (Australian Astronomical Observatory and Macquarie University).

The video shows the most complex astronomical instrument that astronomers use at the AAT: the Two Degree Field (2dF) system. The main part of 2dF is a robot gantry which allows astronomers to position up to 400 optical fibers in any object anywhere within a two degree field (size equivalent to 4 full moons) of the sky.

Dr López-Sánchez took the images between September and November 2011, at times when he was working as a duty astronomer at the Anglo-Australian Telescope. He used a Canon EOS 600D camera with a 10-20mm wide-angle lens. More than 4000 frames were taken and processed to get this video.

The new time-lapse video does not only show how 2dF works, but also how the AAT and the dome move and the beauty of the Southern Sky in spring and summer. Other details that appear in the video are the movement of the Moon, the colour of the stars, clouds moving over the AAT, satellites and airplanes crossing the sky, the nebular emission of the Orion and Carina nebulae, the moonlight entering in the AAT dome, and kangaroos moving in the ground.

Dr López-Sánchez has been a keen photographer since he was twelve. This is his second timelapse project, his first timelapse video was The Sky over the Anglo-Australian Telescope.

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HD (1280 x 720) resolution, MOV format, 208 MB
Large (960 x 540) resolution, M4V format, 79 MB (recommended for tablets).
Small (480 x 272) resolution, M4V format, 19 MB (recommended for smartphones).
Video in YouTube
More information about the video
Previous timelapse video: The Sky over the Anglo-Australian Telescope.

More information

Dr Ángel R. López-Sánchez (AAO/Macquarie Uni.)
Tel: +61 2 9372 4898
alopez@aao.gov.au