Dr. Dale Ireland, a longtime Silverdale dentist known for his amateur astronomy and weather photographs, died suddenly on Wednesday.
“Because of his gregarious nature and willingness to share, he was well known to many people in this area,” said Dr. Arthur Lee, a Bremerton physician who was friends with Ireland for about 20 years. “Through the Internet, he had connections with people around the world.”
Ireland would frequently contact Kitsap Sun reporters with alerts about astronomical events — including solar and lunar eclipses, alignments of planets, overhead passes of the space shuttle and fiery re-entries of orbiting objects.
He often shared his photographs and videos with weather reporters for Seattle television stations. Most notable were the time-lapse videos of clouds moving rapidly over Hood Canal, as seen from the Ireland home.
Cliff Mass, professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington, said he knew Ireland for three or four years.
“He was constantly sending messages and giving us astronomy tips,” Mass said. “I’ve used his images several times, and his imagery often got on television. He was the one who started online videos shot with high definition cameras. He was a pretty important person in the local weather scene.”
Lee said his friend gained an interest in astronomy in high school, when he got his first telescope. After he graduated from dental school, he began to take pictures of the heavens.
Lee, who also took celestial photos, was encouraged to meet Ireland by a vendor who delivered sweets to local medical offices and noticed the brilliant pictures in both their offices. Shortly after the two met, Lee joined Ireland on a cruise to South America to observe a solar eclipse, and they remained friends ever since.
“We did three other eclipses since then,” Lee said, “and we were planning another trip to Northern California (on May 20) for an annular eclipse.”
An annular eclipse occurs when the moon appears too small to fully cover the sun’s surface, even when passing directly in front.
“Dale was a self-declared gadget-guy,” Lee said. “He got involved in time-lapse photography and his weather station. He was always finding some kind of equipment to play with.”
Lee said Ireland’s absence will be widely felt. “I dearly miss him,” he added.
Ireland is survived by his wife Suzanne and a brother from out of state.
Arrangements are under the direction of Miller-Woodlawn Funeral Home.amateur astronomy, Dale Ireland, Arthur Lee, Kitsap Sun <BR/>
- Astronomy Ireland request help in locating meteorite
- Saab Sensis to Adapt Prototype NASA NextGen Surface Traffic Management Tools …
- NASA Satellite Could Disintegrate Over Ireland
- Massive solar storm may mean Northern Lights shine on Ireland again – VIDEO
- Supernova Hunter To Host Astronomy Ireland Lecture