- uploaded: Nov 4, 2011
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Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking Program (NEAT)
Note worthy mark in Swan imagery @ .31 seconds till .51 seconds. Both Comet Neat & Comet Kudo-Fujikawa are viewable. Observation Period from December 1, 2002 - March 11, 2003, in Swan
SOHO took dramatic photos of the comet as it rounded the Sun. The spacecraft has imaged more than 500 similar so-called sungrazing comets in the past. NEAT was the brightest comet ever photographed by the observatory, but it is not remarkable, size-wise, compared with comets in general.
Adding to scientific excitement during the comet's trip around the Sun was a chance event in which a solar eruption, called a coronal mass ejection (CME), appeared to hit the comet on Feb. 17. SOHO captured the interaction, something scientists had not witnessed before. A kink appeared to propagate down the comet's tail, which astronomers say is energized, or ionized.