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A Midnight Planetary Trio…

Went up to Kendal Castle at around half eleven last night, hunting noctilucent clouds. Did everything right, remembered the right tripod this time, camera battery was fully charged and memory card cleaned up, and with a lovely clear sky to the north in front of me, and the castle wonderfully free of the mass of drunk, drugged-up chavs which have been infesting it recently, so I was hopeful…

Nothing. NOTHING. Not even a hint of a wisp of NLC. And with no work today too, typical.

So far I’m not enjoying the 2016 NLC Season at ALL…

But it wasn’t a wasted trip, because I got some half-decent pictures of other things. Click on them to enlarge (some of) them…








See those three planets labelled on the bottom picture? There are space-probes either orbiting, heading for or driving around all of them. How cool is that?🙂


I found a couple of previously-unseen close-up images of Pluto’s surface in last week’s NEW HORIZONS release, so cleaned them up, stitched the together, and this came out… amazing detail on the surface, and incredible to think that barely a year ago our best views of Pluto showed just a mottled ball…



Heading Home jpg 2

Standing on a comet…

This is a processed crop of the latest “OSIRIS image of the day”… this is what it must be like to stand on a comet…

NAC_2016-05-11T09 v2 credit


And a few more processed crops…








The Cumbrian Sky – At Night…


As this blog is called “Cumbrian Sky” it’s only fair that I let you all know about an exhibition of gorgeous photographs showing the Cumbrian Sky at night which will be on view in Keswick later in the year.

The photographs in the “The Lake District By Night” exhibition were taken by Rod Ireland, of Askham, near Penrith, and Jonny Marchant, of Kendal (yaaay!), and will be on display in Keswick from Wednesday 24 to Monday 29 August 2016. Rod and Jonny have launched a crowd-funding campaign on Kickstarter to fund the venture and need to reach their £2,000 target by Monday 16 May – so I’m showing some of their lovely images here to try and get support for their efforts.

In the press release for their project, Rod says: “We are really excited about this project. Everyone has seen beautiful images of the Lake District – it’s a familiar and much-loved landscape – but we want to show everyone that this place is truly amazing at night too. It’s going to give visitors a completely different view of Cumbria.

“We’re hoping for an intriguing and atmospheric launch for the exhibition too – I want guests will view the images in the dark using head torches, in keeping with the dark theme!”

catbells keswick festival of light

Jonny added: “The idea for the project began over a year ago Rod and I were both independently experimenting with capturing photographs at night.

“A major element in the exhibition is our diverse interpretation of the subjects, the differences in our work and what we wish to convey. My photographs are not about specific places of locations; it’s more about how the place makes me feel.”

For those readers who don’t know, Kickstarter is a crowd funding platform for creative projects which can be brought to life through the direct support of others and Rod and Jonny though this was the obvious choice to help fund their idea. They are funding the exhibition themselves, as well as applying for external grants, but if the Kickstarter target of £2000 is reached it will go a long way to producing a free exhibition in Keswick,  in the heart of the Lake District.

castlerigg stone circle

Rod added: “Keswick was just one of the places in Cumbria and the Lake District which suffered terribly from the floods. I hope the amazing and enchanting photographs from this exhibition can help replace the images of those dramatic events in people’s minds, and raise the county’s profile in a way which is new and different.”

Looking at the photographs Rod and Jonny sent me as a preview of the exhibition this is something I will definitely be going to see – and I’m going to let the Brewery Arts Centre know about it too.

ashness bridge keswick

So, if you love Cumbria, and the night sky, this exhibition is perfect for you. Make a note of those dates: Wednesday 24 to Monday 29 August 2016

The Campaign video and details can be found here:



Come and join us in Kendal on May 9th to watch the Transit of Mercury…

poster jpg f

The Spire….

Look at this… just look at this… a beautiful spire of flat rock plates, on Mars, as seen by Curiosity (my processing)… Probably only inches high but beyond ancient, carved ofer millennia by the dusty, martian wind…

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