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Newly-discovered comet named after Chinese astronomer
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A newly-discovered comet has been named after the surname of a Chinese astronomer, Dr Zhao Haibin, the finder of the celestial body.

Zhao, who leads an NEO (Near Earth Object) research team at the Zijinshan Astronomical Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences based in the eastern city of Nanjing, discovered the comet close to the Cetus constellation in mid-September, a source with the observatory said.

The orbit of the new comet, named "P/2007S1(ZHAO)", was found to be an ellipse whose eccentricity is 0.344, and the comet's period of revolution around the sun is 7.46 years.

Zhao reported his discovery to the Minor Planet Center of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), which confirmed the new comet after a careful analysis and comparison with the observations of seven authoritative observatories in the world, including the Lowell Observatory of the United States and the Schiaparelli Observatory of Italy.

The new comet, the fifth one discovered by the Zijinshan Astronomical Observatory, was detected at an observation station in Xuyi County in the western part of eastern Jiangsu Province, the source said.

(Xinhua News Agency September 23, 2007)

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