In fact, it's this process that produces the vast coma surrounding the small icy nucleus. The force from the solar wind pushing against this gas will produce a comet's trademark tail.
Interestingly, the tail of a comet is responsible for their name that comes from the Greek word 'kometes' meaning long-haired star.
Comet Panstarrs, as it is generally known, was discovered back in June 2011 by the Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) based at the University of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy.
Since its discovery, it has been slowly heading toward the inner solar system reaching its closest point to the sun, known as perihelion, on March 10. Since its discovery we've had great hopes for this one becoming a bright "naked eye" comet with early estimates as bright as magnitude -4 which puts it on a parr with Venus. Further observations revealed that its brightness increase was slowing down suggesting less outgassing activity than predicted.
It now looks like its maximum brightness will reach only magnitude 3, a far cry from the brightness of Venus but still visible to the naked eye.