Comet with 'two tails' captured in Namibia

Kristien Kruger
The spectacular Pons-Brooks comet, with its two tails pointing in different directions, was photographed in Namibia last week.
The blue glowing ion tail is clearly visible in the image and in the upper right is the glowing central coma of comet 12P/Pons–Brooks. The comet's dust tail blows out of the coma, mostly to the left.
The dust tail follows the comet along its orbit and from some angles appears to be in the opposite direction of the ion tail as the pressure of sunlight slows it down.
The bright star Alpha Leporis is seen at the bottom of the image.
Two days ago, the comet passed its closest point to Earth and is now best visible from the Southern Hemisphere before it dims and returns to the outer solar system.
NASA shared this photo on 4 June as part of their "astronomy photo of the day". Every day a different image or photo from space is shared along with a short explanation written by a professional astronomer.
According to media reports, comet 12P/Pons-Brooks was last seen in our skies more than 70 years before it turned closer to Earth again in April this year.
The comet is named after the French astronomer Jean-Louis Pons who discovered it in 1812 and his British-American counterpart William Robert Brooks who observed it again in 1883.