My interest in astronomy began
when I was about 10 years old. My Mum took my brother and I into the
Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences and
while there we did a planetarium show. Although the planetarium was very
basic by todayís standards, the stories about the mythical figures the
constellations represented and the fact I could go outside and find them
myself sparked my interest - I was hooked! We purchased a planisphere
afterwards and I spent many a night learning my way about the sky. This
one event was to shape the course of my life. While completing a Bachelor
of Science (Honours) in Physics/Astrophysics I worked as a night
guide/lecturer at Sydney Observatory (www.sydneyobservatory.com.au),
where I now work full-time as an Astronomy Educator. In between though, I
contributed a column to Lab News Magazine and then later spent some time
as Assistant Editor on both Lab News and Todayís Life Sciences Magazines.
Iíve also worked casually for The Binocular and Telescope Shop (www.bintel.com.au)
here in Sydney. Iíve written astrophotography courses for Swinburne
Universityís Online Astronomy Course (http://astronomy.swin.edu.au/sao/)
and currently supervise student projects.
Iíve always loved taking pictures Ė in fact
I much prefer to be taking the pictures rather than being in them! My main
interests have always been comets and eclipses, but if itís up there and
not beyond the range of the equipment Iím using then Iím happy to snap its
Generally, Iím not one to put my images into publications Ė good feedback
from my friends is good enough for me, however my images have been
published in a few magazines Ė Sky & Space, Lab News and The Night Sky.
Recently my images of Comet McNaught have appeared on Sky & Telescope
Magazine (http://skytonight.com/) and
websites and in Temmon Guide.
last few years Iíve been learning to read and translate Egyptian
hieroglyphs and have been able to combine my interest with astronomy. I
journeyed to Turkey last year for my second total solar eclipse and was
able to also return to Egypt which I had previously visited some years
before, this time visiting specific sights of astronomical interest.
nothing better than spending time imaging the wonders of a clear, dark
night sky with a few friends. I generally observe with friends from
Sutherland Astronomical Society Inc (www.sasi.net.au),
where Iíve been a member for 17 years and currently lead the Astro-Imaging
drop me an email if you have any queries, I enjoy helping others get the
most out of this fascinating field!
I donít have my own Observatory,
though I do occasionally observe/webcam the planets from home. I generally
observe with friends at a dark site we have about an hour from home, away
from some of Sydneyís lights. My friend John Vetter runs Mudgee
I often travel there to observe as the skies are much darker, being 3.5
hours away from Sydney and its lights.
Schmidt Cassegrain on a Vixen Super Polaris Mount
recently ordered a Losmandy G-11 and William Optics FLT-132.
I do occasionally use Mudgee
Observatoryís 10-inch Takahashi Astrograph which is a superb instrument
for deep sky photography.