This frame from an animation portrays a comet as it approaches the inner solar system. Light from the Sun warms the comet core, an object so small it cannot be seen at this scale.

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This animation portrays a comet as it approaches the inner solar system. Light from the Sun warms the comet core, an object so small it cannot be seen at this scale. Ices within the comet are vaporized by the heat, streaming out from the tiny core forming a giant halo, known as a 'coma' around it. Particles of dust, carried along with the gas, are blown out to form a tail that extends away from the Sun.

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