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    A giant “icy snowball” was near Earth Wednesday night before its orbit began to take it out into the solar system and will not make its way back for 6,000 years.

    The comet’s name, C/2020 F3 NEOWISE, is a combination of when it was discovered and the name of the infrared telescope first used to spot it.

    The sun is responsible for the heavenly glow that has been visible from Earth with the naked eye for about 10 days. The hard, icy, and rocky surface of the comet has gotten so hot that it has converted to glass which glows bright and illuminates the debris that is falling off the comet to create a tail as it moves through the sky.

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