I am a lecturer and researcher at University College Dublin in Ireland. My research involves the study of gamma-ray bursts, the most violent and energetic explosions in the Universe since the Big Bang and other transient sources. In astronomy, when we say ‘transient sources’, we mean sources that once in their lifetimes or semi-regularly undergo some kind of big increase in their brightness. Additionally, I also study the temporal properties of Pulsars which are very small and dense objects formed after the death of massive stars. Pulsars emit light very similar to a lighthouse, but rotating much much faster.
Skywonders is a project I created aimed at explaining in a simple way why things look the way they do in astronomy. For example, by understanding why galaxies or nebulae show different colours and shapes, we can improve our knowledge of what it is that we are photographing and at the same time, improve our technique.
My passion for astronomy began when I was 8 years old. One of the questions I always asked myself as a kid was: “why do astronomers care about these beautiful images?” I knew they had to be important for a reason, but everybody seemed to just share them without actually explaining the story that they were telling us. I actually had to go through all my degree in Astronomy to get a full answer to my question. Is that because it was really difficult? Not really! The problem is that we think our images have such a big effect on people that we tend to forget about everything else.
That is why I felt that a project like this was necessary. A project to talk about why sometimes a galaxy shows red dots and why sometimes it doesn’t, for example. What does it really mean? Is it important? When should I expect to see it? People talk about filters or about modifying DSLRs so they can capture more infrared light (mostly the line of Hydrogen alpha). But why? What does it really mean? Why is that important? When should we care about Hydrogen alpha? Knowing the answers to these and other similar questions will help us get better astro-images and will expand our knowledge of the Universe.
So as you can see, this site is all about science and astrophotography and how one helps the other, and viceversa.
What to expect on this site
There are 4 main things that will regularly be populating the site on the different sections
- The science behind astrophotography
- Information on astrophotography gear (reviews)
- My own images with detailed information on how I took them
Additionally, I will announce on the website any public talk, workshop or event of any kind organise by me or that I am involved, related to astronomy and astrophotography.