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Tuesday 30 September 2014

Once-in-a-lifetime spectacle Comet Jacques set for Irish skies tonight

Published 22/08/2014 | 11:22

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Time Lapse Image of Comet Lulin
Astronomy Ireland is urging people to get outside to try and spot the spectacle. (Stock photo)

Grab your jumper and a chair – you’re in for a once-in-a-lifetime sky spectacle.

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It’s Comet Jacques and it could be the most patriotic comet to grace our skies.

The luminous green comet will be visible from Ireland this weekend as it is set to pass within 50 million miles of Earth.

The comet, discovered this year by Brazilian astronomers, is a bright, emerald colour because of the cyanide gas it releases.

It should be easy for the naked eye to spot this weekend, but telescopes should be able to spot it for weeks to come.

Experts have reported the comet to be over 100,000 miles wide, which would be the same distance as travelling the circumference of the world four times. 

Astronomy Ireland is urging people to get outside to try and spot the spectacle.

How to see and enjoy the Comet Jacques spectacle

1. The comet will be in the northeast after dark.

2. Look for the famous ‘W’-shaped constellation Cassiopeia.

3. Tonight, the comet will be close to the brightest star at the top left of the ‘W’, making it easy to spot for beginners.

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