Comet Neowise has again been captured in the skies above Cornwall in stunning photographs.
Comet C/2020 F3 – also known as Neowise – has been clearly visible in our skies since earlier this month, having only recently been discovered by scientists at NASA.
After its closest pass near our home planet on July 23, Neowise will plunge deeper into the solar system.
The comet was discovered using the Near Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer – hence the name Neowise.
A photograph from Mark Holmes shows the comet in the sky above Perranporth last night (July 20).
Another photograph – taken by Roger Pelly at around 2:30am today – shows Comet Neowise just beneath the ‘Plough’ constellation in the sky above Lanreath.
Nasa’s Neowise infrared space telescope discovered the comet in March. Scientists involved in the mission said the comet is about three miles across.
Its nucleus is covered with sooty material dating back to the origin of our solar system 4.6 billion years ago.
Although not captured in Cornwall, this photo from Exeter City Council shows Neowise above Exeter, Devon last night.
Nasa says: “Comets are cosmic snowballs of frozen gases, rock and dust that orbit the Sun.
“When frozen, they are the size of a small town. When a comet’s orbit brings it close to the Sun, it heats up and spews dust and gases into a giant glowing head larger than most planets.
“The dust and gases form a tail that stretches away from the Sun for millions of miles. There are likely billions of comets orbiting our Sun in the Kuiper Belt and even more distant Oort Cloud.”
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