Media release from Mt John Observatory, Lake Tekapo
28 September 2009
An astrophotographer has discovered a kiwi in outer space from New Zealand’s internationally renowned Mt John Observatory.
It may be 26,000 light years away but a high powered astro-photograph has picked up the distinct image of New Zealand’s national icon in the centre of the Milky Way Galaxy.
The incredible image of the flightless bird was captured by experienced photographer Fraser Gunn. Mr Gunn, who has recently begun astrophotography with Earth and Sky Stargazing Tours at Lake Tekapo’s Mt John Observatory, is delighted with the discovery.
“When looking at the area with the naked eye it’s difficult to locate the kiwi but my camera allows greater light and colour into the image giving it more definition.
“We only started the astrophotography tour six weeks ago to complement our stargazing tours and the response so far has been outstanding. Basically, I provide instruction to anyone with a SLR-type camera so they obtain their own starlight pictures,” he says.
Graeme Murray, director of Earth and Sky Tours, says Fraser has become a leader in New Zealand astrophotography and is fast gaining international acclaim.