In Summary

  • Swinburne Astronomy Online student wins astrophotography competition
  • The photograph was taken over several nights from Suavi Lipinski's Brisbane home
  • It was projected on the William Jolly Bridge in Brisbane from 5.30-10pm, 21-25 May 2018

A spectacular photo of a nebula, taken by Swinburne Astronomy Online student Suavi Lipinski, has been named the winner of a nationwide astrophotography competition by Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk.

It has been projected onto the William Jolly Bridge in Brisbane, Queensland as part of the ABC’s Stargazing project this week.

Mr Lipinski took the photo, named the Fighting Dragons of Ara, over several nights in 2017, using a small telescope in the courtyard of his inner-city Brisbane home, just four kilometres from the CBD.

Brisbane was the headquarters for ABC Stargazing Live’s Australia-wide Guinness World Record attempt, where more than 40,000 people simultaneously observed the Moon through telescopes for 10 minutes on Wednesday night.

A high school physics and mathematics teacher, Mr Lipinski is studying the Graduate Certificate of Science – Astronomy.

“Like many others, I have always been really interested in knowing more about the 'bigger picture',” Mr Lipinski says.

“For the past few years I have lived in a city where light pollution restricts astronomy. I found that imaging allowed me to 'see' many more deep space objects and in far more detail than visual astronomy.”

Mr Lipinski says it took several sessions spread over a few weeks to collect sufficient data for a good picture.

Astrophotography of fighting dragons of ara

“Due to the location (a few kilometres from Brisbane's CBD) I have to use 3nm narrowband filters to extract deep sky object signals from light pollution.

“The limited view on the sky also put a limit on the amount of data I could collect each session.

“Knowing that people like my astro images gives me motivation to try to learn more and further improve my techniques.

“Being a teacher, I love seeing student reactions to my images and I am very privileged to be in a position to perhaps inspire some of them a bit, and who knows, maybe a few will one day choose to study astronomy.”

Mr Lipinski’s Swinburne Astronomy Online instructor, Professor Alister Graham says: “One of the great things with Swinburne Astronomy Online (SAO), is that you get to interact with many capable and accomplished scholars like Suavi.

“Adults of all ages participate in SAO, including many active and retired teachers, pilots and even an astronaut.”

See more of Mr Lipinski’s astrophotography at: