|Discovered by||Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking|
|Discovery date||August 24, 2001|
|Orbital characteristics A|
|Epoch||May 18, 2004|
|Perihelion||0.96195 AU (q)|
1.00067 (epoch 2014+)
|Last perihelion||May 15, 2004|
C/2001 Q4 (NEAT) is a comet with an unusual, almost perpendicular retrograde orbit which brings it into the inner Solar System by a deeply southward path. 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. 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) that keeps a barycentric epoch 2014-Jan-01 eccentricity of 1.00067, this hyperbolic comet is going to be ejected from the Solar System.
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