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Updated October 20th 2017

Downhill Beach Time Lapse Test - NEW

Time lapse test during a photo shoot on October 17th at the north coast. Despite clear skies being forecast we ended up under cloud, on and off drizzle and mist for hours until after midnight when we relocated to Downhill Beach where periodic clear spells appeared. I set up the DSLR with Samyang 10mm F/2.8 lens and did a time lapse of the stars and passing clouds over my van, the main constellations on view are Ursa Major, Draco, Ursa Minor and Gemini. 490 x 20 second exposures at ISO1600 for 20 seconds of rendered time lapse.

Ex-Hurricane Ophelia Chase Report - NEW

Ophelia Report

October 16th 2017 was a date in which I met the most unusual and hyped storm of my life when Extra Tropical Storm or Ex-Hurricane Ophelia impacted Ireland. Met Eireann had issued an extremely rare countrywide red alert for widespread severe gales with hurricane force winds, phenomenal seas and even storm surges. Schools all over the country where shut for two days, many shops closed at midday and public warned to avoid travel and coastal areas. The S and SE of the country would be worst hit with 3 fatalities and a storm surge with 100,000 homes without power. My Wife and I targeted the SE coast of N. Ireland in Co. Down at St. John's where we experienced severe wind gusts and a sea in a state of fast moving churning chaos, this report documents this day. One page report with 6 images and 1 video clip. - REPORT.

Nightskyhunter - Nocturnal Image Presentation - NEW

Quick vlog at the start then slideshow presentation featuring a selection of my night sky images, some from earlier years, some taken within the last few years and also new material. Featuring star trails, dark sky and moonlit landscape scenes, aurora, NLCs, fireballs and several comets including Pan-STARRS and Pomanski and planet conjunctions with Venus, Jupiter, Mars and the moon. I also show my poster of great comet McNaught taken by the discover himself and signed which I received as a Christmas gift a few years ago. All of these images and more can be viewed on my website in the following sections...

Chase Reports...


Stock Image Gallery...


All images available for sale on print or canvas or in digital form for licensing, simply email me at the address on the end of the video. Soundtrack is 'Inception Time by Hans Zimmer Alternate Suite' thanks very much for watching.

Gortmore 70 Mile Range Night Thunderstorm Report - NEW

Gortmore Night Storm

September 21st 2017 presented a rare clear night and a welcome change to indulge in night sky photography so a shoot was arranged. I met up with Nigel McFarland and together we shot several star trails around the Manannan Mac Lir statue at Gortmore Viewing Point on Binevenagh mountain. During the course of this shoot several flashes of lightning got our attention and soon we were watching a lively multicell thunderstorm at 70 miles range over the ocean illuminating its structure with lightning flashes with anvil and even an overshooting top visible with stars surrounding the cell. While all this was going on a faint aurora manifested on camera producing subtle green rays while the storm lit up in the same frame which made for an unexpected surprise and highly rewarding night. One page report with 11 images. - REPORT.

Historic Thunderstorm Flood Event & Claudy Bridge Collapse - REPORT

Historic Storm Flood & Claudy Bridge Damage

On August 22nd 2017 warm moist unstable air clashed with an inbound cold front in an environment of strong vertical wind shear which generated numerous elevated thunderstorms of a back building nature which dumped monsoon style rainfall over N. Ireland during daylight and night time hours accompanied by vigorous lightning activity. Parts of Derry, Donegal, Mid-Ulster, Tyrone and Antrim experienced a months rainfall within a few hours resulting in the worst thunderstorm flooding event in living memory with untold damage. This report details a visit to two sites in Claudy the following day where a severe flood wiped out a bridge and road documented by both ground based and drone imagery. One page report with 13 images and 3 video clips. - REPORT.

Benbradagh Star Trail - August 30th

Tuesday night was exceptionally clear so I went on a local photo shoot with an old observing mate, we ended up outside Dungiven. I spotted this isolated moody tree on the flank of Benbradagh mountain and shot a star trail, this was a stack of 150 x 30 second exposures at ISO1600 10mm F/2.8 revealing the Earth's rotation and several Iridium satellites, you can see the summit of Benbradagh in the distance.

Beautiful Lough Beg Noctilucent Clouds & Magilligan Golden Sunset Image Report - NEW

New Report

New report documenting two nights of NLCs on June 30th and July 2nd 2017 and a beautiful golden hour sunset across Lough Foyle from Magilligan Point. The June 30th NLC display is the main focus of this report when Paul Martin, John Fagan and I teamed up on a beautiful clear night and got treated to a stunning all-night long type 4.5 NLC display which we captured from a country road near Lough Beg then over Toomebridge. The NLCs boasted beautiful herringbone, band, and whirl structure which could be seen moving in real time with the naked eye illuminated in electric blue contrasting against the twilight sky above a bed of yellow horizon haze making this the best NLC display we have witnessed in the last two years. One page report with 11 images and 1 time lapse video. - REPORT.

N. Ireland Storm Chasing Image Reports

N. Ireland Storm Chasing Reports

Astronomy is not the only subject I'm interested in. One other such area is severe weather which will be playing a major role on nightskyhunter from now on in conjunction with my other astronomical pursuits. Check out my new N. Ireland Storm Chasing section and view the chase reports and images which detail not only storms but other phenomena such as a moonbows, noctilucent clouds and aurora displays.

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Martin McKenna