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A comet’s tail

Hartley 2 will pass nearest Earth October 20

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1:20pm, October 12, 2010

Comet Hartley 2 is already producing quite a tail and is expected to put on an even better light show when it nears Earth and the sun in late October. But the best look at the comet will come November 4, when a NASA spacecraft will fly within 700 kilometers of the icy object.

Hartley 2, formally known as 103P/Hartley, circles the sun every 6.46 years. The comet comes within 17.7 million kilometers of Earth, or about 45 times

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