The Astrophotography Section is a network of astrophotographers within the ASV. Many of the active members are fairly new to the hobby who can help each other along the journey. Members are encouraged to initiate their own informal gatherings to complement the formal monthly meetings at the Ellery Suite (Melbourne Observatory) or dark sky nights at Heathcote. So feel free to announce your plans to attend a Friday night Club Section meeting at Moorleigh Community Village or invite other members to join you for a night of astrophotography at a public location on your side of town. Even a small group of members can find many ways to help each other.
Leon Mow Dark Sky Site
The LMDSS site has 240V power, 4 berth cabins, clubrooms, showers, gas bbq, kettle, tank water and toilets.
Any weekend with a promising weather forecast and not much moonlight will see a good number of people on the astrophotography field at LMDSS capturing images with a wide range of equipment. Because this is so weather dependent, people do not finalise plans until just a few days beforehand. The weather is often better at Heathcote (north of the divide) than in Melbourne so don’t make a decision not to go based on what you see out the window in town.
Aside from at Star Parties, there are no formal activities organised at LMDSS but new members are welcome to attend and see other astrophotographers in action. It is helpful to announce to the Yahoo Group your plans to attend and ask if there is somebody who can show you what’s going on. Most astrophotographers will be busy for the first hour or so of the night as they get their equipment setup and running smoothly. If you can wait till after this setup period, they will be in a much better position to explain their equipment and how they are using it.
Please note that if it has been declared a day of Total Fire Ban for the Northern District of country Victoria then the LMDSS will be closed for the period of the total fire ban.
Although not specifically for astrophotographers, members are welcome to gather informally at Club Section meetings (on the first and last Friday of the month, public holidays excepted) at Moorleigh Community Village - check the calendar in Crux, Crux Extra or the ASV website). Bring along even beginner images to show and you will probably find a willing audience. You can also bring your equatorial mount along and practise polar alignment or focus if the weather is good and might find others there who can help.
The ASV Library at the Melbourne Observatory has many books on astrophotography which are free for members to borrow and are a great resource for beginners.
The Library is open prior to & following the AstroTalks held monthly at Mueller Hall (The Herbarium.)
There is a Spyder 4 Pro Monitor Calibration device available for short-term loan, which may help you calibrate the brightness and colour of your monitor for image processing. The unit should be returned to each section meeting at the ASV Lodge and can then be passed on to somebody else. It can also be handed over from one person to another in between as well.