The mountain-sized Neowise comet made its closest approach to the sun on July 3 and is now shining brightly in the night skies.
One amateur photographer captured it overhead as he walked on the Wrekin, alongside the M54.
Paul Murray, from Hadley, took the photograph of Neowise as it appeared in the sky over Wellington early on Sunday morning. The image also features noctilucent – or ‘night shining’ – clouds that can be seen above the horizon. Paul took the photo using his Sony A7S II camera, and was delighted to capture the comet in all its glory.
“It was quite amazing,” said Paul. “Conditions were perfect. I went up specifically to catch the image of the comet and it was great to see it in the sky.”
Comet Neowise is a retrograde comet with a near-parabolic orbit that was discovered on March 27 via Nasa’s Neowise telescope. It will be possible to view with the naked eye for the rest of July.
“Once it’s gone it won’t be back for another 7,000 years though,” added Paul. “But that will give us plenty of time to charge our batteries.”
A keen astrophotographer, earlier in the year Paul captured an incredibly clear image of a ‘supermoon’ – when the full moon coincides with the moon’s closest approach to Earth in its orbit – from his back garden.
He attributed the extremely clear photograph to reduced air and light pollution caused by Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
Paul’s images can be found on Instagram by searching for bigolivesphoto and Shropshire Star Gazers.