In April 2018, we embarked on a short vacation to Wamberal, NSW Central Coast. We made walks at the nearby Wamberal Lagoon Nature Reserve and enjoyed the porch overlooking the ocean. The Wamberal Lagoon is an intermittently closed intermediate saline coastal lagoon. We took some relaxing walks on the near-empty beach.
We also visited the nearby Terrigal with its prominent landmark, The Skillion, a steep cliff facing the ocean rising to a convenient lookout area that is easily accessed by a flat grassy area leading up from the reserve.
On several occasions, I flew my drone for an aerial view of the region.
One highlight of the stay was the arrival of the Lyrids—a comet shower that peaked on April 22 and could be observed from Australia. "The Lyrids hold the record for the shower with the longest recorded history, having been observed since at least 687BC. That longevity is linked to the orbit of the Lyrid’s parent comet, discovered in 1861 by A. E. Thatcher. Comet Thatcher moves on a highly inclined, eccentric orbit, swinging through the inner Solar system every 415 years or so. Its most recent approach to Earth was in 1861.
Compared with many other comets, Thatcher’s orbit is relatively stable, as the only planet with which it can experience close encounters is Earth. This means the meteors it sheds continue to follow roughly the same orbit. Over the millennia, that shed debris has spread all around the comet’s vast orbit, meaning that for thousands of years, every time Earth intersects Comet Thatcher’s orbit, the Lyrids have been seen, as regular as clockwork. One study of the orbits of Lyrid meteors even suggests the shower may have been active for at least a million years."
As the comets can be best seen an hour before sunrise, I got up early as usual and spent time on the common-space roof of the apartment building in which we stayed trying to capture the comets—I was only once lucky.
While waiting for the comet shower, I took some pictures of the stunning landscape in the early morning hours.
I also had a chance to fly my drone (DJI MavicPro) for the first time at night with two Lume Cubes attached. Here a short video from this flight taken from the drone and from a GoPro Hero 6.
More photos here.