Mark Grealish

Cats and wizardry.


Pluto, full disc in high resolution

I thought we had the best photograph of Pluto until we got better: NASA released this photograph of Pluto’s disc on Thursday. Giddy me then spent an hour of my afternoon cooing over surface features. The full-sized version is a 68 MB, 8000 x 8000 pixel PNG version packed with glorious detail. So what’s my […]

Pluto, backlit panorama

I have a raging space boner. This is the most gorgeous photograph I have ever seen from space, and for once this isn’t even hyperbole. New Horizons took this panorama fifteen minutes after closest approach to Pluto (source). It was taken at a low, oblique angle backlit by the sun. I’m not a planetary […]

Pluto, spherical mosaic

This mosaic of Pluto, centered on Sputnik Planum, was released on Thursday as part of the new data downlinked from New Horizons. It’s a gorgeous stitch of a gorgeous planet. I don’t think anyone expected a carbon monoxide glaciers and pristine new ice plains at the equator of Pluto, and I for one am glad […]

Pluto, full disc

I merged: It is a Friday night and I am too drunk for any remark beyond I’ve waited too long for this.

And now it’s there

The second post ever published on this blog was written about New Horizons on January 18, 2006, one day before the space probe launched from Florida for Pluto. And now it’s there-literally there, because New Horizons is less than fifteen minutes from Pluto periapsis as I write this post. New Horizons has been in flight […]

So I saw an eclipse

Any personal blog-this blog-is run out of its controller’s own desire and creativity. Lately I’ve discovered that when people begin to depend on me to provide both of those on demand, on a daily basis, my spontaneous application of them to the blog goes out the window. I could blog snippets of code or talk […]

PSR J1719-1438 b’s surface gravity

Diamond planets-specifically PSR J1719-1438 b-have my eye today. I tried to describe this chthonian planet to Eadaoin earlier, but I fell short because I couldn’t visualize some elements myself. The formula for surface gravity of a planet is: gplanet = G * M / r2 PSR J1719-1438 b has (both estimated) a mass of ~1.02 […]

Yep, empty

Our universe is big, empty, and dark. It isn’t even cold per se, because only an object can can have a temperature, and space is by definition the absence of one. When physicists and astronomers talk about the temperature, they don’t refer to the universe itself; instead they talk about the temperature of those pitiful […]

The Transit of Venus

I missed it owing to being on the incorrect portion of this rotating oblate sphere (and, yes, rain). It is the last time Venus will transit the sun from Earth in this century-and unless I live to the ripe old age of 136, also the very last time in my life. This makes me sad, […]

So pretty

Search by Image, Recursively, Transparent PNG, #1 from kingcosmonaut3000 on Vimeo.

I quit Solomon’s Boneyard

One hundred thousand kills in a game…and half a million gold sitting in the kitty. Roll on the coming multiplayer.

A picture to fit the book

Right as I’m in the middle of reading Songs of the Dying Earth, a compilation of short stories set in Jack Vance’s Dying Earth universe, the above image of the sun being eclipsed by the Earth started to make the rounds of the Internet. +1 appropriate.

Highlighting Plumes

Highlighting Plumes “The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Dec. 25, 2009. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 617,000 kilometers (383,000 miles) from Enceladus and at a Sun-Enceladus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 174 degrees. Image scale is 4 kilometers (2 miles) per pixel.”

Jupiter and Europa

Conjunctions aren’t what I usually pay a great deal of attention, but tonight (September 10) will mark Jupiter’s closest approach to Earth for both the past, and next, fifty years. Despite my best attempts to convince people on Twitter that Jupiter will be larger than the full Moon at perigee, the gas giant won’t be […]

The top ten badass objects in the universe, #3

Just as I did coming out of part one and into part two I want to briefly go back and show up something new and cool about Titan: The above link takes to you to a news article explaining how the Hale Telescope at California’s Palomar observatory captured a occultation of two distant stars by […]

The top 10 badass objects in the universe, #2

It began as “amazing”. Ended as “badass”. Sorry, English professors. In part 1 of this series I mentioned RX J1856.5-3754, neutron strange quark star that lies about 400 light years from Earth away off in the constellation of the southern crown. Today I’m sticking closer to home: Titan “Arrakis, Dune, Desert Planet.” Fact: Arrakis is […]

The top 10 badass objects in the universe, #1

No matter how far back you go in my life, you’ll discover that I have this absolutely unshakable adoration for the universe as a whole, the exploration of our solar system (and beyond!) and an unimpeachable respect for ever woman and man who has been involved in this great work. The most powerful memories of […]

Draco, the Dragon

I feel guilty, sorry guys, for giving you such a lame 365 image. Even as I looked at the cathedral shot and intuitively realized how I could improve upon it, I began bad for throwing up such an honestly bad shot. So, here, enjoy! The constellation of Draco, the Dragon. For reference, the north star, […]

More Polaris

3634 seconds at ISO 200 and f/5.6 (EXIF for the curious) (Obligatory shout-out to Irish photographers Shane Murphy and Elliot Tucker, who have been wetting their own feet on the ISS too.) I’m at the stage in my astrophotography where every photograph is a valuable learning experience, although they mostly come out looking similar…same-ish? absolutely […]

ISS, Penumbra

Counter-intuitively, the ISS is moving from right (west) to left (east) in this image. As it passed over Ireland it passed behind the Earth and into the planet’s shadow, or [[penumbra]]. The more you know.

Space Station, International

Woo! I finally went out and captured the [[International Space Station]] in an image, from the green outside of the house. I’m pumped at this, really!

The night sky over Loughrea, Ireland

Photo of awesomeness

I originally set out this blog to be of things I generally found cool, but I’m such a self-centered ass that it turned entirely into a photoblog. One thing in paticular I wanted to cover was everything and anything to do with space. Space as you all know, is an incredibly amazing place that throws […]

Re-processed star trails from Ross Lake

Taken facing due east, up is to the right. This is looking toward the milky way by way of Cygnus. I think personally that I’ve done a better job of processing it this time, better colours and better contrast to make the dust clouds stand out. I adjusted the white balance for tungsten in Lightroom […]

Trip to Ross Lake

Cold, wonderful night. We went out in the hope of catching the Leonids. We weren’t lucky enough to do that (honestly, it was just too cold to stay out), but we still took in some gorgeous photos of the night skies over Ross Lake near Moycullen. I broke my fucking camera coming home. Have you […]

Satellite crossing Ursa Major

Taken while freezing my arse off with Mike.

Full moon over Oranmore

Taken while freezing my arse off with Mike, using his 70-200 L lens. :)

NASA is in ur RAM, breaking ur CPU

Go to NASA’s Blue Marble page right now, and grab the torrent download. Don’t stop, don’t ask, don’t think, just go. The Blue Marble is a ludicrous 86,400 x 42,000 pixel mosaic of the Earth, taken over the past year by satellite. “Glorious” isn’t grandiose enough for such a beautiful composition. I downloaded both the […]