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MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Animation of the nucleus of a comet as it approaches the Sun, seen from within its tail. Comets are small bodies of ice and rock that are remnants from the formation of the Solar System. A huge halo of potential comet nuclei exists in the outer Solar System. When one falls into the inner Solar System, radiation from the Sun boils off the ices, forming a huge coma of gas and dust around the comet. These can form into long tails, which can be large and bright enough to be visible to the naked eye.
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