One of the closest encounters between a comet and Earth has been captured by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. The American space agency released a series of images on Thursday of Comet 252P/LINEAR flying past our planet. The images were captured in early April — two weeks after the icy object zoomed by. On March 21, the comet came within 3.3 millions of our planet, the world’s fifth-closest encounter.
For reference, that’s 14 times the distance between us and the moon. Other than our moon, this is one of Hubble’s closest observations of a celestial object. In the images, a jet of space dust can been seen spewing out from the comet. These celestial objects are normally comprised of frozen material. Comets are like “cosmic snowballs” of gas, rocks and dust. When they are warmed, their frozen material transforms into large glowing heads. READ MORE