Spacecraft zooms in for a close look at the cold heart of a burning comet

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What you see here is the icy core of Comet Hartley 2, a flare of light at its back. NASA's EPOXI spacecraft captured this incredible image from 435 miles away early this morning.

EPOXI, nicknamed Deep Impact, blasted off in 2008 and roams the solar system looking for interesting objects to study, including comets and exoplanets.

via NASA

Images via NASA/JPL-Caltech/UMD


An artist's representation of Deep Impact and a comet.


A slightly different angle.


This is Hartley from farther away.