Near Earth Asteroid Tracking

NEAT (Near Earth Asteroid Tracking) is a project of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory ( JPL ) for sky monitoring in cooperation with the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. space agency NASA. His goal is to be forewarned in time (ideally many years to decades ) before a dangerous collision of the Earth with an asteroid tracking of all near-Earth asteroids.

As part of the monitoring program, numerous comets have been discovered. ( As of May 2004 there were 43 comets ). All these comets are named component, NEAT ', or (if the discovery at the same time another observer or another observer group succeeded ) a combined, such as NEAT - LINEAR '.

Of particular importance is the comet named C/2001 Q4 (NEAT ), which was discovered on 24 August 2001 and in May 2004, reaching an apparent magnitude of about. About the same time also reached the comet C/2002 T7 (LINEAR ) maximum brightness, so that the same could be seen from the southern hemisphere of the earth two with the naked eye visible, bright comets.