Aurora Borealis, Astrophotography in Ireland

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Aurora Borealis over Ireland, May 2024 Aurora Borealis over Ireland, May 2024 ©Panoramic Ireland

May 2024 saw some of the finest displays of the aurora borealis or Northern Lights over Ireland and lower latitudes ever witnessed.

After a long and busy day photographing in Dublin, word was coming in from all sources of an amazing light show and even in the city I could see and photograph the stronger portions of the celestial display.

But it wasn't until I headed far from the city, into the Irish countryside that I was able to truly enjoy and photograph the unpredictable lightshow.

Still I didn't manage to make to some of my favourite locations over on the west coast of Ireland where the night sky is darker, thus more suited to astrophotography and night sky events.

It doesn't take much to see the difference, in Dublin and other large conurbations only the brightest stars are visible, in the countryside the sky can be so dark that it seems like you are staring into, literally, the vast reaches of the Milky Way and beyond.

I was reading recently of a ranking that lists the best locations for astrophotography in Europe and, interestingly, eight out the top ten sites were in Ireland!

Travel booking site, Omio analysed over 1,400 locations in Europe using factors such as clear views to the southern horizon, light pollution and the Bortle Scale that measures the astronomical observability of celestial objects.

Ballinskelligs in County Kerry ranks at number one, followed by Ashleam in County Mayo.

1 Ballinskelligs Beach Ireland
2 Ashleam Ireland
3 Tormore, Clare Island Ireland
4 Glosh Bay Ireland
5 Silver Strand Ireland
6 Robert Lloyd Praeger Centre Ireland
7 Saint Finian's Bay Ireland
8 Murray's Monument Scotland
9 ICAstronomy Spain
10 Ballycroy National Park Ireland


So what are you waiting for, now is the time to get to Ireland, use Omio to book your travel here and why not book a photography workshop with Panoramic Ireland when you're in Ireland.

Last modified on Tuesday, 09 July 2024 00:41
Darren McLoughlin

Irishman and International travel photographer in search of the best bits of Ireland. Leading photography tours and experiences in Ireland.

Contributor to New York Times / Sunday Times / Irish Times / Echtra Echtra and Eonmusic

Cancer survivor.

Ask me about travel in Ireland or about photography in Ireland.

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