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Stargazers Will See Newly Discovered Comet


Stargazers with telescopes will be able to see a newly discovered comet as it reaches the perihelion on Monday, say experts at the Zijinshan Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The comet, discovered on February 1 by Chinese amateur astronomer Zhang Daqing and his Japanese peer Kaoru Ikeya, has been named "Kaoru-Zhang" by the Lesser Planets Center of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the only internationally recognized authority for naming celestial bodies.

Follow-up observations of the comet show it is the brightest comet to be discovered this century, says Wang Sichao, a scientist at the observatory.

Experts have worked out that it takes 367 years for the "Kaoru-Zhang" comet to travel around the sun. After its brief showing this year, it will not be seen again from earth for over three centuries.

Chinese astronomers will be able to observe the comet shortly after dark on Monday, when it will appear in Pisces in the northwestern sky.

In addition, the comet will be close to earth again for two weeks from the end of April, which will give stargazers another chance for a glimpse of its glory, Wang says.

(Xinhua News Agency March 17, 2002)

In This Series

Chinese Amateur Astronomer Discovers Comet

Astronomers Hope for Celestial Fireworks

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