NASA’s Hubble space telescope have captured the sharpest, most detailed observations of a comet breaking apart 108 million kilometres from Earth.
Hubble showed 25 fragments consisting of a mixture of ice and dust that are drifting away from the comet.
The images suggest that the roughly 4.5-billion-year-old comet, named 332P/Ikeya-Murakami, or comet 332P, may be spinning so fast that material is ejected from its surface.
The resulting debris is now scattered along a 4,828-km-long trail.
Comet 332P was discovered in November 2010, after it surged in brightness and was spotted by two Japanese astronomers.