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|Thursday, April 27, 2000, updated at 16:09(GMT+8)|
Chinese to Watch Comet without TelescopesChinese will have a chance to see a comet without using a telescope in late July, according to April 5's Wenhui Daily.
According to Wang Sichao, a researcher at the Nanjing's Purple Mountain Observatory attached to the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the comet, called "Nilier," is probably the only one that will be visible to the naked eye this decade.
The comet was discovered by an astronomy research group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on September 27 last year, and it is thought to be non-periodic and revolving along a hyperbolic orbit.
Called "passing traveler" by astronomers, the comet will never be seen again from Earth after this, its first appearance.
Wang said the comet will begin to approach the Earth next month, and will be 56 million kilometers from us at its closest point.
During the mornings from late May to early July, stargazers will be able to observe the comet by ordinary telescopes, and by late July it will be visible in the north sky without the aid of a telescope.
Wang said the best time to observe the comet will be on the morning of July 16.
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