Copyright © 2002 by Near Earth Asteroid Tracking (NEAT)
This comet was discovered by LINEAR on images obtained on 2001 October 13.44 and 17.41. It was then described as asteroidal in appearance with a magnitude ranging from 19.0 to 19.8. It was even given an asteroid designation of 2001 TU80. An independent discovery was made by NEAT at Haleakala on October 19.59. The object was still stellar in appearance and magnitude estimates three NEAT images revealed a range of 19.3 to 20.4. A routine minor planet orbit was calculated and no further observations were made.
The NEAT program based at Palomar Observatory discovered a comet with a coma 3 arcsec across on November 16.53. The comet was almost immediately identified to the asteroidal object found by LINEAR and NEAT during October. An observation by P. Kusnirak (Ondrejov Observatory) on November 17, using a 0.65-m reflector, revealed the comet was moderately condensed, with a coma 0.3 arcmin across.
Copyright © 2002 by Michael Jäger (Austria)
Copyright © 2002 by Giovanni Sostero (Italy)