A comet with an atmosphere the size of Jupiter comes close to Earth

This glimmering apparition is Comet McNaught, which is visiting the inner solar system and may become visible with the naked eye by the end of the month. This is the first visit to the solar system by the million-kilometer comet.

Comet photographer Michael Jaeger snapped two amazing images of Comet McNaught the other day, as it makes its approach to our neighborhood. Check out the thin blue gas tail. Here's another look:

A comet with an atmosphere the size of Jupiter comes close to Earth

More images at the links. [Michael Jaeger via SpaceWeather and SkyandTelescope]