Point of departure

It was serendipity that led me to Knockferry to take a picture of comet NEOWISE as it blazed across the heavens on Monday night. But where better to watch a comet prepare to depart our night sky than a old ferry crossing point. I’d intended to photograph the comet on Saturday night, but nodded off before resetting the alarm on my phone at midnight. I woke up with a start at 4.45, which was too late. But since I was up, I decided to go for a drive and ended up at Knockferry. It’s an old crossing point on Lough Corrib, about 10 kilometres north of Moycullen. It’s just half a kilometer across the lake from Knockferry to Kilbeg on the far side, and it used to be a ferry crossing. In the 1820s, Alexander Nimmo thought about building a bridge across the lake nearby, but nothing came of it. When I returned there on Sunday night, the sky was full of stars in every direction. Because the jetty is surrounded on three sides by the lake, it is a great spot for star-gazing. The comet will be closest to Earth on Thursday – if you look for the constellation Ursa Major (aka Big Dipper / the Plough), you should be able to see it.

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