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UPDATED: 12:48, May 07, 2004
Chinese astronomy fans observe NEAT comet
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China's astronomy fans witnessed the NEAT (Near Earth Asterord Tracking) comet on Thursday evening.

Fang Guoquan, a teacher in No. 1 Middle School in Nanjing, capital city of eastern China's Jiangsu Province, observed along with some other researchers and fans the dandelion-shaped comet via his 120-mm-diameter telescope at 8:15 p.m. in northwest of the city's suburb area.

The comet looked not very bright for its large spreading area in a diameter of 300,000 kilometers, said Wang Sichao, a researcher with the Zijinshan Astronomical Observatory under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, in Nanjing.

Zhang Daqing, another observer in Kaifeng in central China's Henan Province described the comet as "brighter than expected".

Su Hua living in Changde City of central China's Hunan Province said he saw an obvious bright core of the comet.

According to Wang Sichao, the comet may be observed by naked eyes from May 9 to 12 in some area of the country.

The NEAT comet was discovered by American scientists in August 2001.

Source: Xinhua

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