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Hubble snaps image of approaching comet

Comet ISON Hubble.jpg

This image of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) was photographed on April 10, when the comet was slightly closer than Jupiter's orbit at a distance of 386 million miles from the Sun (394 million miles from Earth). (NASA, ESA, J.-Y. Li)

The operators of the Hubble Space Telescope say the orbiting observatory has snapped photos of an approaching comet.

The Baltimore-based Space Telescope Science Institute says the Comet Ison is being called the "comet of the century" because it could be brighter than the full moon when it makes its closest pass by the sun in late November.

The institute says the pictures taken earlier this month show the comet slightly inside of Jupiter's orbit, about 386 million miles from the sun. The institute serves as the science operations center for the Hubble.

Hubble scientists say preliminary measurements show the nucleus of the comet is about three to four miles across. The comet was discovered in September by a Russian team.