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Amit Kamble was near Mount Maunganui, on Monday night, trying to locate Comet Neowise when he had almost lost faith due to the poor weather.
But a "tiny green smudge" appeared while he was aiming his lens in the direction he believed the comet could be.
"It just came out of the blue and put on a show."
Low lying clouds in the north-west, exactly where the comet was, initially put a dampener on Kamble's spirits, but he wasn't going to give up.
"I was just taking some random shots in the direction I thought it would be, and I was just about to give up but as I was scanning the screen I suddenly saw this green smudge.
"Because I have shot comets in the past I knew what it would look like, so I just re-framed it and started shooting."
It was a relieving moment, Kamble said.
However, if you were hoping to catch a glimpse of it yourself, you might be out of luck Kamble said.
It will be in the night sky until late August, he said, but not visible to the naked eye.
"You will need a smaller telescope to see it and with the weather which we have now, it will be really difficult to see."
But Kamble said any DSLR camera with a long focal lens would be suitable if others wanted to hunt Neowise down in the sky.
Kamble, a member of Tauranga's Astronomical Society said the comet had been orbiting near the north pole, but as it made its way out of the solar system, it was now visible in the southern hemisphere.
Ever since he first watched Star Wars as a child, Kamble said he had a fascination with the sky above him but it was comets that really intrigued him.
The rarity of comet's meant there was always delight in hunting them down, he said.
"At the moment there is three or four comets in the night sky, but you usually need some serious equipment to see them. And with light pollution and other parameters, it is not always easy to hunt them down.
"But when something like this comes, which is nice and bright, it was a good opportunity."