Event review: The David Malin Awards – From Australia to outer space

Thanks to Brigid Mullane for reviewing the David Malin Awards for Scope.

Sydney Observatory is a local landmark, on the harbour near the historic Rocks precinct.  Completed in 1858, it is now part of the Powerhouse Museum, featuring exhibits of the history of astronomy and meteorology, and providing night telescope viewings for the public.

I went there this month to see the winners of the David Malin Astrophotography Awards.  The competition is open to amateur photographers and astronomers across Australia, and is judged anonymously by Dr David Malin, world-famous Australian astrophotographer.

The young man at the desk explained that the images and videos were displayed on two floors of the building, and I started with the upstairs collection. There were deep space photos colour-adjusted with the “Hubble palette” to better display distant objects such as the “Running Chicken” nebula. Romantic shots showed people in the country enjoying a much better view of the stars than we get in Sydney, while eclipses were recorded with photo series that reminded me of Pac-Man. Creative shots included a lone swan’s transit of the moon, and a novel use of the familiar star-trail photo.

There were more pictures downstairs dispersed amongst the permanent exhibits. Apart from the pictures and exhibits inside, there are interesting views of the harbour, city and bridge from the windows and terrace of this charming historic building.

The Malin Awards exhibit is on daily until 20 October, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. If you happen to visit by 30 August, you might take a stroll afterwards along the Cahill Walk to Customs House at Circular Quay. There you will find the micro-nano-atomic exhibit Incredible Inner Space, reviewed here in Scope by Nolanne Chang.