"A fascinating insight into Ireland's ancient burial sites" - Irish Independent
Comet Hale-Bopp - the Great Comet
beautiful images of the great comet Hale-Bopp
(1997) were taken by Drogheda photographer Michael Byrne, who
has been a photographer and astronomer for over twenty years.
Both of these images were taken on an old Nikon
FM2, a very nice specimen of a fully manual camera. The
images are both 30 seconds on a 50mm lens, set at f1.8, and
on Fuji Sensia II 400 film. The slide on the left was taken
on a country road some miles outside Drogheda, and both tails
can be seen stretching up into the sky. The W-shaped constellation
Cassiopeia is dominant, with the 'double
cluster' located between the W and the telegraph pole. The
spectacular image on the right shows Hale-Bopp
sitting on top of the ancient round tower at Monasterboice.
Both photos were taken in April 1997. Michael Byrne was partly
responsible for the discovery that the Baltray standing stones
have a winter solstice alignment. See this
page for more details.