Mystical photo of the Milky Way is still getting Ireland much love online despite the myth being debunked.iStock

This image has become famous via Imgur, Twitter, Pinterest and every social media medium in between. It is often posted aside a line from W.B. Yeats “tread softly for you tread on my dreams” but this photo known as “Heaven’s Trail” is a lie.

The photo went viral in 2010 and for a whole year no one knew its source. A story emerged on Imgur and started to snowball. The user posted “There’s this place in Ireland where every two years, the stars line up with this trail on June 10th to June 18th. It’s called Heaven’s Trail.”

The responses to the tale varied from “just when i think there aren't any more reasons to go to ireland, they just keep piling up [sic].”

To “Every 2 years? Does the Earth revolve around the sun slower in Ireland?”

It turns out the photo was taken by a German photographer, Thomas Zimmer, who was bowled over when his photo received 1.6 million hits on his site

Zimmer told MyModernMet “The photo is the last one of a lengthy series I made in November 2010 on the island Sylt, German North Sea coast. It was a cold and clear day and I was the only person at the beach for miles. I was there for several hours from the beginning sunset until early night.

He explains on his blog that he had called the photo “ ‘My God, it’s full of Stars,” for obvious reasons!

The photographer has since also admitted that the arrangement of the stars was a happy accident, a culmination of facts that made his work famous. That night he had been taking photos for hours. His camera batteries were nearly empty, he was frozen and hungry. As he prepared to leave he turned and saw this amazing view. The Milky Way was right above the stairs. The man you see in the photo is Zimmer who managed to set the self timer…run up the steps and hold still.

It’s a magical shot and you’d almost feel bad for Zimmer that despite his explanations people till seem convinced that this glorious photo was taken in Ireland.

Here are just a couple of mentions it’s had online:

This photo with text was posted to Pinterest.

Heaven's trail is a place in Ireland where every two years on June 10-18 the stars make a perfect line. Surely a site to see! #universallove

Posted by Creative Vie Media on Monday, April 13, 2015