Ireland held Nationwide Comet Watches
around Ireland on Friday 7 of January and also on Thursday January 13 in
suport of the Irish Red Cross Tsunami disaster appeal. Close to
€1000 was collected (exact figure later) for this worth while
cause. Thanks to everyone who contributed and to all who helped
David Moore Shows Comet Machholz to the
crowd at the Phoenix Park (Credit Tom Finnegan)
As you will all remember I'm sure on January 7 there
was a storm which affected all of Ireland and so the Comet was not
visible in any part of the country.
January 13 proved much better all in all with some
success in various parts of the country.
Reports from around the country:
Clare: Angus Sealy in Kilmihil had total
cloud cover on Thursday 13 and as a result no one showed up.
Cork: Martin Lynch - Astronomy Ireland's
Cork co-ordinator had organised a watch in Carrigaline Business Park at
Gary Keefe's EVTC building. About 15 people showed up but were
dissapointed due to total cloud cover.
Donegal: Seamus Byron in Letterkenny organised a watch
a few miles outside the town at Kilpeak Graveyard car-park. The
night was cloudy - however there were lots of breaks. 11 people
showed up and enjoyed looking at the comet, M42 and Saturn.
Dundalk: Derek Watters arranged to meet those
interested at the Millenium Statue in Blackrock. There were some
breaks in the cloud where he did get to show the comet and the rings of
Saturn to the half dozen or so gathered.
Dublin: Several hundred people came out
to a pretty cloud free Phoenix Park and had a great view of the Comet as
well as Saturn, the Andromeda Galaxy and lots of other heavenly
bodies. All went away happy.
Comet Machholz on December 13 (photo: www.astrostudio.at)
Roscommon: Betty Meyler had a small few people turn up
at the Horseman Viewing Point outside Boyle. It was most clear and
she was rewarded with an excellent view of the comet. She reported
seeing the long green tail quite clearly.
Tipperary: Ray Parle organised his Comet Watch at the
Mountain Road Viewing Point aprox. 5 miles from Clonmel. About 20
people showed up. The night was windy but relatively clear and all
got to have a look at the comet, Orion Nebula and Saturn. Ray also
pointed out the winter constellations to the crowd.
Waterford: Liam Walsh had arranged to have a watch at
Ballygunner School in Waterford but unfortunately heavy cloud set in
from early on with no breaks in the cloud. He has taken some names
and phone numbers and plans a re-run of the event.
Wexford: Oliver Gargan organised a watch at the
community centre on Rosslare Strand. He reported that the site was
relatively dark. About 10-12 people showed up to view the
Comet. They also looked at the Orion Nebula and Saturn. The
skies remained relatively cloud free throughout.