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This image of comet Hartley 2 was taken on 16 October 2010 by amateur astronomer Mike Broussard. The nucleus of the comet is only 2 km (1.2 mi) long. Gases and dust are released from the nucleus as it approaches the Sun. They form the coma, the temporary atmosphere, which is a few hundred thousand km wide (about 186 000 mi). A faint tail can also be seen.

CREDIT: Mike Broussard.

Source:
http://www.spaceweather.com/gallery/indiv_upload.php?upload_id=46623
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/27oct_hartleyids/