Image: Timelapse of Comet 252P in action / NASA, ESA, and J.-Y. Li (Planetary Science Institute)

Comets brush by us all the time, but they’re usually not close enough for us to catch anything more than a glimpse as they streak through the sky. But, thanks to one very close comet, Hubble just got an incredible insider view.

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Last month, Comet 252P/LINEAR came within a little over three million miles of earth. This was one of the closest approaches to our planet by a comet ever, and it gave the Hubble telescope an unusual opportunity for a little close range photography. Besides our own moon, this comet is the closest object the Hubble telescope has ever photographed.

That up-close view paid off with the time-lapse you see above showing the nucleus of the comet moving around like, as NASA describes it, a high-powered lawn sprinkler. Although the nucleus measures just one mile across, the comet still manages to kick all manner of interstellar dust in every direction.

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Seeing all that internal movement, it’s no wonder that—even from so far away—debris from passing comets still makes it through our atmosphere as meteor showers. In fact, Comet 252P/LINEAR was so active that, although there’s no regular meteor shower associated with it yet, NASA has flagged it as having the potential to rain down a future one.