What experts are describing as either a fireball or a bright meteor was captured by a Dublin photographer on Sunday night.
Local photographer, Graham Harkness, had set up camp in Dylan’s Park, Dalkey in south County Dublin, to take advantage of the cold night's sky and snap some stars. What he managed to capture was beyond his wildest dreams.“I was going for the stars over the island and I noticed something unusual after I looked at the picture.
“It was way brighter than a normal shooting star — they are ten-a-penny when you’re taking shots of the night sky. I knew this was different. I’m not an astronomer, but I’m sure it was a meteor,” he told BreakingNews.ie.
Editor of Astronomy Ireland magazine, David Moore, confirmed the photographer’s opinion. He said, “It is definitely a fireball or bright meteor…These objects come through the atmosphere at 70,000mph, burning up as they enter and are extremely rare to photograph.”
Just one of these passes near Ireland about once a month. Astronomy Ireland is lucky to receive one picture per year.
Here's a close up:
Harkness (31), an amateur photographer from Terenure, used a Canon 6d camera with a 14mm lens to take the shot, utilizing a 30 second long exposure technique.
Moore added, “We got one [photo] last year. But I couldn’t tell you if we got one in the last couple of years before that. If we got 10 of them in a decade, we’d be very lucky.”
He believes that the fireball spotted by Harkness could have been heard between England’s Lake District and the Scottish Borders region.
Moore says that the fireball in the photograph above was at its lowest point when photographed, probably 12 miles (20km) above sea level.
For more of Graham Harkness’ work visit www.grahamharkness.ie.