MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Illustration of the Earth, Moon and Sun showing a passing comet. Cities are seen glistening, defining the edges of the Earth's continents. Comets are balls of loosely packed 'dirty ice'. As they near the Sun, their gases sublimate and form long tails blustering away from the star. The tails can stretch for tens of thousands of kilometres, dwarfing even the Earth-Moon separation.
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