A rising star shone in an international astronomy photographer of year competition, clinching third place for his photo of the Great Nubula.

MidKent College student Samuel Copley, aged 16, from Hoo, Kent, was highly commended in his age group and won £125.

He produced an image of the cloud of gas and dust to the south of the Orion’s Belt constellation.

Samuel said: “I would like to be a professional astronomy photographer but you can’t really make a living out of it.

“It’s more of a hobby-turned-obsession for me so I was very proud to be highly commended in the competition.”

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