Searching for and Photographing Comet NEOWISE on a Cloudy Night in Ireland

Comet NEOWISE over Ireland July 24th 2020 Comet NEOWISE over Ireland July 24th 2020

With recent cloudy overnight weather it has been difficult to find an opportunity to get out and photograph Comet NEOWISE or C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE).

The celestial body is now heading away from Earth and is fading, soon to disappear.

So with a good evening sky and a forecast for clear skies I headed into the mountains.

Photographing clouds and other scenes as I waited for the sky to darken, I was greeted about an hour after sunset with more and more cloud. Thickening all the while, I eventually lost sight of any open sky.

As midnight approached, sunset was at 21:40 - I descended out of the mountains really with the intention of heading on, to abandon hope of photographing the comet.

But as the altitude changed, so did my view of the sky - I could finally see some stars and the Plough became visible in the northern sky.

I knew that NEOWISE would be close to the Plough and sure enough when I found a quiet crossroads in the Irish countryside I finally had a view of the whole sky.

Surprised that I could just see it with the unaided eye, I quickly set about photographing the comet, first with a wideangle lens then with a longer lens.

It burns a fine green at the moment, having been a red colour last week.

And that might be the last time I have the opportunity to search for and photograph NEOWISE as the forecast for night skies over Ireland for the rest of July aren't wonderful. But, with the patience of a photographer I will have at least another attempt.

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Comet NEOWISE over Ireland
Comet NEOWISE over Ireland
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