Once-in-a-lifetime comet spotted in Australia
A comet that is not predicted to return to our skies for 110,000 years has been caught on camera.
The comet, known as 2011 L4 Panstarrs, has taken millions of years to travel from the Oort cloud: a huge colony of icy objects at the very edge of the solar system.
Throughout March it will be close enough to Earth to be visible through binoculars or a telescope.
On 5 March, conditions were ideal for it to be photographed when it passed over Mount Dale in western Australia – resulting in this stunning image, which has just been released by Nasa.
Another chance to spot the comet is tomorrow, 12 March, when its trajectory passes low in western sky throughout the evening.
And towards the end of the month Panstarrs will rise higher in the sky, making it easier to see.
If you do miss it, don’t worry: another comet is expected to make a more dramatic appearance in November.
Comet Ison is predicted to fly much closer to the sun than Panstarrs, causing it to light up.
Experts say it could be bright enough to see in daylight, but from the UK it will only be visible low in the sky.