Close-up view of Comet NEAT
NATIONAL OPTICAL ASTRONOMY OBSERVATORY NEWS RELEASE
Posted: May 25, 2004
The image was taken with the Mosaic I camera, which has a one-square degree field of view, or about five times the size of the Moon. Even with this large field, only the comet's coma and the inner portion of its tail are visible. This color image was assembled by combining images taken through blue, green and red filters.
A small star cluster (C0736-105, or Melotte 72) is visible in the lower right of the image, between the head of the comet and the bright red star in the lower-right corner.
Comet C/2001 Q4 (NEAT) was discovered on August 24, 2001, by the Near Earth Asteroid Tracking (NEAT) system operated by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA.
The comet will remain visible for several weeks with binoculars and small telescopes just after sunset, high in the western sky.
Kitt Peak National Observatory is part of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), Inc., under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.