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Hello from Galway, Ireland

Ray_Butler
09 Aug, 2019 23:51
Hi all,

I'm based in Galway on the west coast of Ireland. I live at the edge of the city so my backyard skies are only ok (Bortle ~ 4.5). However, really dark Bortle 1 and 2 skies are quickly accessible in the Connemara region further to the west, so sometimes I head out there. But opportunities are rare: our changeable and cloudy North Atlantic weather is a bigger problem than light pollution smile  And my job as an academic often keeps me busy in the evenings too. On the other hand, occasional observing runs on professional telescopes give me the chance to travel to other countries, and multi-task with my fun astrophotography rig clicking away outside while I capture the serious research data inside.

I've been doing astrophotography since my teens in the late 1980s; I worked almost exclusively with medium-format film from 1992 right up to 2010! (And I still have some legendary Kodak E200 in the freezer). My "gear lists" have never looked very mainstream: I like pushing the limits of oddball and old tech, and adapting stuff. The same goes for my "software lists": my day job gave me skills in IRAF scripting, and I never use Photoshop.

While I've owned small telescopes, wide-field photography is really my thing - from 8 mm to 300 mm focal length.

So anyway, after viewing fantastic images on Astrobin for some time, I've decided to join and start posting my own stuff.
khrrugh
16 Aug, 2019 11:10
Hi Ray,

welcome to AstroBin!

CS from germany,
Michael
Ray_Butler
16 Aug, 2019 11:12
Hi Michael,

Thank you - nice to be here!

Ray
rellawsky
22 Aug, 2019 00:09
Welcome to the Bin! I was over in your part of the world in July, I stayed in Clifden few a few days and toured the Connemara region. Loved the area, can't wait to get back there someday…

Missouri,USA
Doug
Ray_Butler
22 Aug, 2019 09:03
Thank you, Doug! I'm glad you had a nice visit to Connemara. I think you timed it well: the weather in July was generally quite good, but August has been very rainy even by west of Ireland standards.

I've been to the USA a few times - roadtrip through CA/NV/OR/WA; Boston and NYC; and Arizona for observing - but not your part of the interior. Hopefully I'll experience the Midwest some day.

Ray
carastro
22 Aug, 2019 12:18
Welcome to Astrobin,looking forward to seeing your images.
I too was in Galway and Connemara almost a year ago, lovely tour down the West coast including Dingle which was cloudy the one night we stayed there!!!

You are very lucky with having 4.5 Bortle normal skies and access to Bortle 1 & 2 skies, I don't think I have ever experienced them as we stayed in the town in Galway - if only.  I am Bortle 8 and have to travel monthly to Bortle 4 with full kit and astro friends.

Carole
Edited 22 Aug, 2019 12:19
Ray_Butler
22 Aug, 2019 13:05
Hi Carole, and thank you too for the nice welcome.

It's great that you enjoyed our "Wild Atlantic Way" along the west coast. The mountainous Dingle peninsula is spectacular, but when I holidayed there myself a few years back, I was annoyed to find that the town of Dingle has thoughtlessly high levels of light pollution for its size. They actually had a light beacon projecting swirly patterns into the night sky, all night long! So even if it had been clear the night you were there, it would not have been ideal. Elsewhere on the peninsula is very dark, though.

Only Connemara's offshore islands (and perhaps the tips of some of its peninsulas) touch Bortle 1. But around half of Connemara is Bortle 2. So you are right, we are indeed lucky in that regard. I am actually in the pilot phase of a project to survey the region's skies with a SQM and fisheye imaging.

Ray
carastro
22 Aug, 2019 13:38
We stayed halfway along the Peninsula in Dingle and not in the town, it was VERY dark, but all I could see were clouds.  As you say the Dingle Peninsula scenery was stunning, as was much of the West coast of Ireland.   Of course as you say you do have the Atlantic weather to contend with, I often look at Sat24 and watch the clouds and rain pass over Ireland and then onto North Wales and Scotland, so I guess we are lucky in the SE of England from that respect.  I am in SE London, great for accessibility to London etc, but rubbish for LP.

Carole
Edited 22 Aug, 2019 13:39
Allinthehead
24 Aug, 2019 09:47
Greetings from Co. Cork Ray. Looking forward to seeing some more of your lovely wide field images.
Ray_Butler
26 Aug, 2019 10:34
Hello and thank you, Richard! Where in Cork are you based? I grew up just outside the city…

I just looked at some of your amazing images taken with the Tak Epsilon 130 and Esprit 100. Beautifully crisp and deep.
Vittorio
26 Aug, 2019 11:36
Hi Ray,
wellcome from Venice, Italy. I was in Galway for a rowing regatta…very nice place :-)
Ray_Butler
26 Aug, 2019 15:17
Hello and thank you, Vittorio.
Yes, rowing is a popular sport in Galway. There's water everywhere…Galway Bay, the canals, Lough Corrib reaching right into the city.
Of course, our few canals cannot rival yours, in Venice!
Allinthehead
27 Aug, 2019 09:35
Ray Butler
Hello and thank you, Richard! Where in Cork are you based? I grew up just outside the city…I just looked at some of your amazing images taken with the Tak Epsilon 130 and Esprit 100. Beautifully crisp and deep.

Hi Ray. Thanks. I'm in Ladysbridge. Grew up in Glanmire.
 
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