Josh Kirkley is a creature of the night. He stays up late and rises early, all in search of getting that perfect astrophotography shot. Josh boasts an Instagram page with over 15k followers, and a feed full of incredible starry images. He divides his days at Stardome between the front desk and teaching education sessions. This month, we get up close and personal with our in-house, Insta-famous team member.

Meet the team: Josh

How long have you worked at Stardome?

It was exactly one year at the end of September.

What is the best part about working here?

The best part of working here would definitely be the fact that I can share my love and passion for astronomy on a daily basis. It is great teaching a school group when you know they are really interested in space, especially since it’s not something that’s covered a lot in schools. A lot of kids do not know a lot about astronomy, and it’s really rewarding being able to share the Universe with them.

Tell us about your favourite astronomical object?

Saturn is probably my favourite object. It’s beautiful rings always amaze me when viewing it through a telescope. I’ll never forget the first time I saw the rings!

How did you first get into astrophotography?

I remember watching the 2014 remake of the Cosmos series. It was so visually enticing and got me interested in all things space. I have always been a creative and visual person and did well at the arts in school. Photography was a natural extension of me being able to capture and share our universe with others.

What would be your number one tip for someone looking at getting into astrophotography?

The easiest way to learn astrophotography is to simply go out and shoot the stars any chance you get. There is a huge amount of resources online of how to do astrophotography, but I think actually going out at night and teaching yourself what works for you works best.

What is your favourite science fiction movie and why?

It would definitely be the classic 2001: A Space Odyssey. It is such a timeless film that even today stands up against modern sci-fi. It was well before its time, and the visuals always amaze me to this day. It is such an influential film and has had such an impact on all sci-fi that came after.

Image: Josh and one of his astrophotography images take on Pakiri Beach, before sunrise.