32 million miles
51.8 million kilometres

Comet Machholz was discovered by Donald Machholz on 27 August 2004, and by January 2005 had became bright enough to be viewed from the Earth without a telescope. In this image, taken 07 January 2005, Comet Machholz and its long extended tail are seen against the backdrop of the Pleiades star cluster. Comets are roughly described as "dirty snowballs" that originate in the distant Oort Cloud at the edge of the Solar System.

Credit: Jack Newton.

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