Those who were beginning to grow old had an air of youth, while there was something mature in the faces of the young. In their unconcerned looks was the calm of passions daily satiated, and through all their gentleness of manner pierced that peculiar brutality, the result of a command of half-easy things, in which force is exercised and vanity amused — the management of thoroughbred horses and the society of loose women.
By Gustave Flaubert || Madame Bovary
The NASA comet page says the coma (the big fuzzy cloud of gas surrounding the solid nucleus of the comet) is about 20,000 km across. At closest approach, that means that if you were standing on Mars, the comet would appear to be over 8° across! That means that if you have a big hand, you could just barely block it with your upraised fist.
Again — our Moon appears only about 0.5°. This was huge.
And human probes orbiting mars had a front row seat. They recorded the comet’s approach, and then quickly swung around behind Mars to avoid potentially harmful debris in the comet’s tail. The data from their close encounter will be trickling in over the next couple weeks.