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

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

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

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

A slightly different angle.

Illustration for article titled Spacecraft zooms in for a close look at the cold heart of a burning comet
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This is Hartley from farther away.

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