A comet has been captured on camera streaking across the skies over Cambridgeshire.
The spectacle, which was spotted by stargazers across the country, was the best display of a comet visible with the naked eye over the UK for decades.
Comet C/2020 F3 – also known as Comet Neowise – was clearly visible last night (Sunday July 12) for those who could get a view of the horizon and a clear night sky.
One person who was able to capture an incredible moment the comet passed over Swavesey and reflected in a lake was Paul Haworth.
The comet C/2020 F was only recently discovered by scientists at NASA using the Near Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE), and is currently heading towards the Earth having passed the sun.
It will have its closest pass to our planet on July 23 before heading further into our solar system.
Space.com said: “As a morning object, the comet’s best views will come during a three-day stretch on the mornings of July 11, 12 and 13, when it will stand 10 degrees above the northeast horizon, 80 minutes before sunrise — the beginning of nautical twilight.
“Your clenched fist held at arm’s length measures approximately 10 degrees in width. So, on these three mornings, the head of Comet Neowise will appear about “one fist” up from the northeast horizon.”
The simplest way to see the comet in early to mid-July is to look east, for the Big Dipper – also known as the Plough or Ursa Major.
The comet will be to the right, and below the Plough – close to the horizon – from early to mid July then directly below it by July 25.
After that it will continue to move left across the sky each day.
By July 25, the comet will appear 30 degrees up from the west-northwest horizon as darkness falls.
And on July 30-31, the comet will be passing just to the north of the fine star cluster of Coma Berenices or Berenice’s Hair.
NASA said: “A comet has suddenly become visible to the unaided eye. Comet C/2020 F3 (Neowise) was discovered in late March and brightened as it reached its closest approach to the Sun, inside the orbit of Mercury, late last week.
“The interplanetary iceberg survived solar heating, so far, and is now becoming closer to the Earth as it starts its long trek back to the outer Solar System.
“As Comet Neowise became one of the few naked-eye comets of the 21st Century, word spread quickly, and the comet has already been photographed behind many famous sites and cities around the globe.”
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