C/2001 Q4 (NEAT)
Comet C/2001 Q4 (NEAT)
Discovered byNear-Earth Asteroid Tracking
Discovery dateAugust 24, 2001
Orbital characteristics
EpochMay 18, 2004
(JD 2453143.5)
Perihelion0.96195 AU (q)
Semi-major axisN/A
1.00067 (epoch 2014+)[2]
Orbital periodN/A
Last perihelionMay 15, 2004
Next perihelionejection

C/2001 Q4 (NEAT) is a comet with an almost perpendicular retrograde orbit which brings it into the inner Solar System by a deeply southward path.[3] It initially emerged from its remote home spending most of its time near the south celestial pole. This comet was discovered on August 24, 2001 by the Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking program (NEAT).

In 2004, residents of the southern hemisphere had the opportunity to watch the comet gradually brighten as it raced toward perihelion. On May 6, 2004 the comet approached within 0.32 AU of the Earth.[4] Beginning in early May, the comet started racing north and burst into view in the northern hemisphere when it had reached almost maximum brightness.

With a near perihelion orbital eccentricity of 1.00069 (epoch 2004-May-18)[1] that keeps a barycentric epoch 2014-Jan-01 eccentricity of 1.00067,[2] this hyperbolic comet is going to be ejected from the Solar System.



  1. ^ a b "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: C/2001 Q4 (NEAT)". last obs. Jet Propulsion Laboratory. 2005-08-28. Retrieved 2011-03-11.
  2. ^ a b Horizons output. "Barycentric Osculating Orbital Elements for Comet C/2001 Q4 (NEAT)". Retrieved 2011-03-10. (Solution using the Solar System Barycenter and barycentric coordinates. Select Ephemeris Type:Elements and Center:@0)
  3. ^ Java applet showing the orbit of comet C/2001 Q4 (NEAT)
  4. ^ "JPL Close-Approach Data: C/2001 Q4 (NEAT)". last obs. 2006-08-18. Retrieved 2011-03-10.