An EPIC View of the 2017 Solar Eclipse

Wondrous images, from a million miles out in space, from NASA’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) of the shadow of the moon crossing over North America on Aug. 21, 2017.  EPIC is aboard NOAA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), photographing the full sunlit side of Earth every day.  [Image credit: NASA EPIC Team. Video credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Katy Mersmann] Pete Baker

Seven years of Solar Dynamics

It seems like only yesterday that I was noting First Light on Nasa’s Solar Dynamics Observatory [SDO], and the early hours of this morning for ‘three years in three minutes‘ and ‘SDO Year 4‘.  In fact the SDO was launched on 11 Feb 2010, with First Light in April of that year. [Seven long years… – Ed]  Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Centre have produced a short [3 min 22 sec] video marking the solar sunspot cycle during that time. [Credit: NASA’s … Read more

A bit of perspective…

…with this stunning composite image of the Earth and its moon, courtesy of the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. [Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona] From the associated text This composite image of Earth and its moon, as seen from Mars, combines the best Earth image with the best moon image from four sets of images acquired on Nov. 20, 2016, by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Each … Read more

“This is not an abortion war, completely not”. Facebook trolls lay off

This is an exclusive interview with an Ulster woman of a very different character. Deborah McAleese’s interview in the Belfast Telegraph with a housemate of the young woman convicted of self aborting  is  searing, very hard to read. Oddly  the impact was less in voice on the Nolan show ( substitute ) because the housemate was  composed two years after the event. In  Nolan style she was pressed repeatedly for her reaction but held her ground. Her line was ” You can’t … Read more

Con politics… – redux

The caption may not be as perfect a fit this time round, but you should get the gist… Just saying, again… [Put… the bunny… back… in the box. – Ed] Pete Baker

New Horizons: Countdown to Pluto

Nasa’s New Horizons mission spacecraft is now within two days journey time to the dwarf planet Pluto and its complex system of 5 moons.  [Image credit: NASA, ESA, and M. Showalter (SETI Institute)]   Travelling at 14km/s, New Horizons’ swift fly-by of the dwarf planet is scheduled to take place on Tuesday 14 July, at exactly 11:49:59 GMT (12:49:59 BST; 07:49:59 EDT), when it will be a mere 12,500km from the surface. At a distance of 4.7 billion km, New … Read more

Raise a glass to Hubble! – Redux

The Hubble Space Telescope celebrates its 25th Anniversary in space today, 24th April, with the release of this wondrous image of the giant star-cluster, Westerlund 2, in the stellar nursery, Gum 29, located 20,000 light-years away in the constellation Carina.  [Image credit: Credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), A. Nota (ESA/STScI), and the Westerlund 2 Science Team] From the accompanying text to the image. To capture this image, Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 pierced through the dusty veil shrouding … Read more

NI Conservatives Try Viral

The local version of the Conservative Party, the NI Conservatives (formerly the Conservatives in NI), have come up with an “infographic” that presents Martin and Peter as Laurel and Hardy. The two hapless leaders, the image suggests, have caused the population of Northern Ireland to be £864 per head worse off than people in the rest of the UK. Part of the reason for this, of course, is local dependence on benefits rather than high paying jobs. Also the stock of … Read more

In case you missed the eclipse…

Or, like me, cloud cover obscured the solar eclipse of 20 March 2015.  Here’s probably the best view of this morning’s event, from ESA’s Sun-watching Proba-2 mini-satellite.  [Image credit: ESA/ROB] And via ESA on YouTube. As Europe enjoyed a partial solar eclipse on the morning of Friday 20 March 2015, ESA’s Sun-watching Proba-2 minisatellite had a ringside seat from space. Orbiting Earth once approximately every 100 minutes, Proba-2 caught two eclipses over the course of the morning. Proba-2 used its SWAP imager … Read more

Dawn over Ceres

On Friday afternoon [GMT], ahead of Ireland cricketers’ epic encounter with Zimbabwe, Nasa’s Dawn spacecraft became the first man-made object to go into orbit around a dwarf planet – Ceres, at 950km across, the largest object in the main asteroid belt. [Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA] From the associated text The slim crescent of Ceres smiles back as the dwarf planet awaits the arrival of an emissary from Earth. This image was taken by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft on March 1, 2015, just a few … Read more

Photo of the Day: Gerry Kelly being mindful

Gerry Adams has a whimsy contest for you people to enter into, which we are doubling up as our photo of the day 4 a special prize: What is Gerry Kelly doing? And where is he doing it? — Gerry Adams (@GerryAdamsSF) December 13, 2014 1st Prize in Gerry Kelly Quiz: A day @ Stormont. 2nd Prize 2 Days @ Stormont. Judges Tom& Ted. Deadline Monday @ 5.45. — Gerry Adams (@GerryAdamsSF) December 13, 2014   (Picture Credit: Gerry … Read more

Photo of the day – Puppy Love…

Here is a photo to melt the heart of even the most cynical slugger commenter. Rodney Harrison took this lovely photo last Sunday on the East Strand in Portrush. Brian O'NeillI help keep the good ship Slugger afloat by managing the business and techy stuff. My day job is creating websites and software. My personal site is: