Comets

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  • Closeup of Comet Encke from STEREO
    2007.10.01
    This animation shows how Comet Encke interacts with the Solar Magnetic field and how it's tail is stripped away by a CME.
  • Comet Encke's Tail Stripped Away by a CME
    2007.10.01
    On April 20, 2007, NASA's STEREO satellite captured the first images ever of a collision between a solar storm, called a coronal mass ejection (CME), and a comet.  Comet Encke had just dipped inside the orbit of Mercury, perilously close to the sun, when a CME struck and literally tore the comet's tail off.  This surely has happened to comets before, but for the first time in history a spacecraft was watching.