Aurora Borealis

Northern Ireland is not the best place in the world to see the Northern Lights. That would be Norway, or Iceland, or Alaska perhaps. But under favourable conditions we can get good displays here, particularly around the time of Solar Maximum. Sadly Solar Cycle 24 has been and gone so there’s not much activity, but… Continue reading Aurora Borealis

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Eclipse Collection

A particular branch of Astronomy that has always fascinated me is the eclipse. I’ve seen the Total Solar Eclipse three times as well as many partial and lunar eclipses which are all well worth seeing. I’m hoping to stand in the Moon’s shadow again at some stage. Quite possibly in the USA in April 2024.

Air Shows

Northern Ireland has two regular air shows. One in Portrush and one in Newcastle, Co Down. This is a selection of shots taken at both venues over the last few years.

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Noctilucent Clouds

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Noctilucent Clouds are very well observed from Northern Ireland during the season from the end of May to the beginning of August. Unlike the Aurora, going further north is not necessarily beneficial as the sky becomes lighter and contrast is lost. These pictures have been taken since I first saw these magnificent clouds back in… Continue reading Noctilucent Clouds

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Kennedy Space Center

For a space nut like me, this place is paradise! Positioned on the east coast of the United States, almost as close to the equator as it’s possible to get in the USA, rockets launched from here benefit from the Earth’s rotation getting the first 1,000 mph of the 17,500 needed to attain orbit for… Continue reading Kennedy Space Center

Atmospherics

Cloud formations, Lightning, Contrails, Halos, Rainbows. All are atmospheric phenomena that can be seen almost everyday and which can make pleasing photographs too. The place to go to identify all of these is Les Cowley’s excellent website Atmospheric Optics.

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Marble Arch Caves

Situated in County Fermanagh, these caves are an absolute must see if you’re in the area. Carved out of limestone by three rivers this is the most magnificent cave system on the island of Ireland. More information about the Visitors Centre here….. And on Wikipedia here….. Google Maps here…..

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Kodachrome 1935-2010

Kodachrome was a superb fine-grained colour slide film made in various speeds from 1935-2010. At this point the combination of falling demand and the fact that the k-14 process was somewhat toxic resulted in it being discontinued. This was my last roll of Kodachrome 64 shot with a Minolta Dynax 800Si camera and 24mm, 28-135mm… Continue reading Kodachrome 1935-2010

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Grand Canyon 1995

Here’s a small collection of shots taken at The Grand Canyon in 1995 during a whistlestop drive across the USA. So of course this is film. It scrubs up pretty well in fact, though I have recently (2018) returned with a digital. The newer pictures will appear here in due course!

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Antrim Coast Road

Built in the 1820s using a lot of dynamite The Antrim Coast Road opened up the towns and villages along its 26 mile length which had previously been mostly accessible from the sea. It is a beautiful scenic drive with many attractions a short way off the road. The Antrim Coast Road forms part of… Continue reading Antrim Coast Road

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Beaghmore Stone Circles

Here’s an interesting place! Beaghmore Stone Circles are up in the Sperrins above Cookstown. A collection of Circles, Cairns and possible Alignments that must have been pretty significant in prehistoric times, though now we can only make educated guesses as to their purposes. A fascinating place indeed! Wikipedia article here… Google Maps here……

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Portglenone Sunflowers

Pictures from what has become the essential annual pilgrimage to Portglenone’s Sunflower field

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The Painted Ladies Of Carnlough

This was just a simple afternoon walk up to Cranny Falls from Carnlough, only I happened upon this one bush which was inundated with dozens of Painted Ladies who were happy to keep on posing for me as I snapped away!

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Johnson Space Center

Mainly known as the home of Mission Control, Houston, there is much more to JSC than this. We visited the Center in 2013 and were able to see a lot of Space memorabilia as well as the Classic Mission Control restored to its 1969 configuration, the International Space Station Training Rig and of course the… Continue reading Johnson Space Center

Astronomy Talks

Paul speaking at Trinity College, Dublin

I’ve done many talks, usually on astronomical subjects over the last 12 or so years. I’ve filmed a few and since the Covid lockdowns this has evolved into a regular series of Sky Guides. IAA Season Introduction, 20th September 2017 “Beginners’ Astrophotography”, Irish Astronomical Association, 16th November 2016 “Getting Started in Astrophotography” – Larne Camera… Continue reading Astronomy Talks

China 2009

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This was the trip of a lifetime, travelling to China to see the 22nd July 2009 Total Solar Eclipse, the longest totality of the 21st Century! We travelled with Oriental Travel using Finn Air to Beijing via Helsinki and embarked on a whistlestop tour of Beijing, the Great Wall, Xian and Shanghai, observing the eclipse… Continue reading China 2009

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Carnfunnock’s Butterflies

2019 has, for some reason, been a fantastic year for butterflies in Northern Ireland. They have appeared in large numbers in the most unexpected places, and surprisingly they’re still here at the end of September!

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Vintage Lenses

One of the joys of using the Micro Four-Thirds system is that the flange distance – ie the distance from the lens mount to the sensor – is only 19.5mm. Most SLR systems designed to fit a moving mirror into this space have flange distances in the 40-50mm range. This means it is very easy… Continue reading Vintage Lenses

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Tollymore Forest Park

Nestling in the shadows of the Mountains of Mourne, Tollymore is a true paradise with waterfalls on the fast-flowing Shimna River and many pathways to follow through the forest. Always at its best in Autumn, this collection consists of two walks through the forest in November 2019 and October 2020

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Red Arrows Belfast Flypast

This was a very quick flypast of Belfast at 13:58 on Saturday 15th August as part of the 75th Anniversary of VJ Day. Belfast was privileged to be the only UK capital to get the flypast as London, Edinburgh and Cardiff all had bad weather! This was also the first flypast of Belfast since the… Continue reading Red Arrows Belfast Flypast

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