Release 576 of 1,087

A Really Neat Close-up of Comet NEAT from Kitt Peak Observatory

Release date: Jun 17, 2004 9:00 AM (EDT)

This image of comet C/2001 Q4 (NEAT) was taken at the WIYN 0.9-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, Ariz., on May 7, 2004.

The image was captured with the Mosaic I camera, which has a one-square degree field of view, or about five times the size of the Moon. Even with this large field, only the comet's coma and the inner portion of its tail are visible. A small star cluster (C0736-105, or Melotte 72) is visible in the lower right of the image, between the head of the comet and the bright red star in the lower-right corner.