A photoshopped image of the massive comet 67P plonked on Cork City has gone viral.
Photographer Darren Forde created the image at his home in Rochestown as scientists celebrated the historic landing of the Philae probe on the comet’s surface, some half a billion kilometres away.
Earlier this year, the European Space Agency (ESA) created images of the comet superimposed over different European cities to give people a sense of the vast scale of it.
But Darren said they forgot to include Cork, so he decided to bring the scale of the deep-space rock closer to home.
“I just did it for a bit of fun. I’m delighted at the reaction,” he said.
He used a super high-resolution panoramic photograph he took of Cork City during the summer — a gigapixel in file size — as the backdrop.
He then used Google Earth to measure the 4.1km distance from County Hall in the west to Páirc Uí Chaoimh in the east, and inserted an ESA-produced image of the comet into the photograph.
It dwarfs familiar landmarks, including Shandon steeple and the Elysian tower, which are referenced in the image.
“Coming in at approximately 4.1km wide, the comet would stretch roughly from County Hall to Pairc Uí Chaoimh, dwarfing the Elysian and the famous Shandon bells,” he said.
Comet 67P is hurtling through deep space at 84,000 miles per hour, some 500 million kilometres from earth.
The largest part of the duck-shaped comet is about 4.1km by 3.2km, and 1.3km high, with the smaller lobe measuring 2.5km long, 2.5km wide and 2km high.
It is named after its discoverers, Klim Ivanovych Churyumov and Svetlana Ivanovna Gerasimenko, who first observed it on photographic plates in 1969.
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