The Budget contraception scheme still holds women in Ireland responsible for safe sex
The Budget contraception scheme still holds women in Ireland responsible for safe sex

Kate Demolder

‘Romy & Michele’ actress Cortney Wolfston on being fired while pregnant
‘Romy & Michele’ actress Cortney Wolfston on being fired while pregnant

Sarah Finnan

Ireland’s best autumnal forest walks
Ireland’s best autumnal forest walks

Sarah Finnan

With a two-hour Oprah special, Adele is truly giving the people what they want
With a two-hour Oprah special, Adele is truly giving the people what they want

Megan Burns

Want to move your workout indoors this winter? Here’s everything you need
Want to move your workout indoors this winter? Here’s everything you need

Shayna Sappington

What’s on October 2021: The new TV, streaming shows, books and podcasts to try
What’s on October 2021: The new TV, streaming shows, books and podcasts to try

Sarah Finnan

The IMAGE Shopping Basket: What’s new to the highstreet shops this week
The IMAGE Shopping Basket: What’s new to the highstreet shops this week

Lauren Heskin

These toys are expected to the big hits for Christmas 2021
These toys are expected to the big hits for Christmas 2021

Sarah Finnan

This Rathmines home is on the market for €1.975 million
This Rathmines home is on the market for €1.975 million

Megan Burns

The luxury advent calendars to buy now (before they sell out!)
The luxury advent calendars to buy now (before they sell out!)

Sarah Finnan

Image / Editorial

‘Comet of the Century’ will be at its brightest in Irish skies tonight


by Shayna Sappington
23rd Jul 2020
‘Comet of the Century’ will be at its brightest in Irish skies tonight

Comet NEOWISE won’t be seen for another 6,800 years, says NASA


It has been over 20 years since Ireland has seen what astronomers call a ‘great comet’.

While there is no formal definition of the term, a great comet is one that becomes bright or impressive enough for casual sky-watchers who were previously unaware of its existence to notice it. 

In 1997, the great Comet Hale-Bopp dazzled stargazers across the country. Now, we have the rare opportunity to view one again.

Comet NEOWISE will be at its brightest in Irish skies tonight and then slowly fade over the next few weeks.

It has already been spotted by some, who have shared spectacular photos of the comet with a trailing streak of bright light in its wake.

Best viewing time

David Moore, Astronomy Ireland magazine/Comet NEOWISE on July 10

David Moore from Astronomy Ireland was one of those lucky enough to capture an image of the great comet.

He said the best time to view it will be tonight, July 23, at 11pm and it can be spotted just below The Plough star pattern.

“Comet NEOWISE will slowly fade from naked eye view over the coming weeks but you can see it from Ireland in the northwest sky every evening as soon as it gets dark enough to see the stars, roughly around 11pm,” he said. 

“If you know The Plough star pattern then the comet is just below The Plough every evening for the rest of July.”

A spectacular sight

Moore took two photographs of the comet, one on July 10 and one on July 20.

“When I saw it in July, it was plainly visible to the naked eye with a long tail pointing straight up,” he described. “In photographs you can see it has two tails, a long thin faint blue tail and a pale brighter and fan-shaped tail (caused by dust particles). 

“This is very similar to the last great comet seen from Ireland in 1997, Comet Hale-Bopp. It has been over 2 decades since we had a comet this bright in Irish skies, so we are urging everyone to get out and see it.”

David Moore, Astronomy Ireland magazine/Comet NEOWISE on July 20

It will be visible to the naked eye but NASA recommends using binoculars or a small telescope if you have them to get the best views of the dazzling display.

The best viewing spot is somewhere away from city lights with an unobstructed view of the sky.

Anyone who takes photos of the comet is encouraged to email them to Astronomy Ireland at [email protected] for a national report they are working on.

 

Read more: ‘Miracles can happen’: Rosanna Davison announces she’s expecting twins

Read more: A new Netflix documentary about the New York mafia has landed

Read more: Into the wild: the essential accessories you need for your next camping trip

Also Read

‘Comet of the Century’ will be at its brightest in Irish skies tonight
EDITORIAL
Sarah Harding’s heartbroken mum announces the singer’s death aged just 39

Sarah Harding has died at the age of just 39, her heartbroken mother revealed today. The Girls Aloud star had...

By Amanda Cassidy

‘Comet of the Century’ will be at its brightest in Irish skies tonight
EDITORIAL
8 easy ways to keep your brain healthy that you can do right now

Your brain health is just as important as that of the rest of your body, says psychologist and neuroscientist Dr...

By IMAGE

‘Comet of the Century’ will be at its brightest in Irish skies tonight
EDITORIAL
How to limit drips and brush strokes while painting kitchen cabinets

Painting kitchen cabinets can be transformative and can be achieved relatively low-cost, but you need the right equipment, and a lot of...

By Amanda Kavanagh

‘Comet of the Century’ will be at its brightest in Irish skies tonight
EDITORIAL
Attending multiple weddings this year? How to save money as a guest

These days, going to a wedding is the equivalent of going on a short holiday in terms of cost. From...

By Jennifer McShane

‘Comet of the Century’ will be at its brightest in Irish skies tonight
EDITORIAL
5 houseplants we guarantee you can keep alive

For those who buy houseplants with the best of intentions and end up killing them, here’s a selection you’ll be...

By Hannah Hillyer

‘Comet of the Century’ will be at its brightest in Irish skies tonight
EDITORIAL
‘Romy & Michele’ actress Cortney Wolfston on being fired while pregnant

“I was confused. Hadn’t I just been told this was a perfect time to be pregnant?” she questioned. Actress Cortney...

By Sarah Finnan

‘Comet of the Century’ will be at its brightest in Irish skies tonight
AGENDA, EDITORIAL
No, the Olympics haven’t given athletes ‘anti-sex’ cardboard beds

Despite some media coverage, the beds are actually focused on sustainability as opposed to intimacy restrictions. Recently, distance runner Paul...

By Jennifer McShane