303P/NEAT (0303P)

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Type: Periodic Perihelion date: 18 February 2026 Perihelion distance (q): 2.5 Aphelion distance (Q) : 7.6 Period (years): 11.3 Eccentricity (e): 0.51 Inclination (i): 7.0 JPL orbit diagram COBS lightcurve 303P/NEAT = 2003 U3 = 2014 L1 K. Lawrence, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, reports the discovery by the NEAT project of a 19th magnitude comet on 22 October 2003. Observations by J. Young at Table Mountain on 23 October show a 3" coma with a short, broad, fan-shaped tail about 8" long spanning p.a. 255-285 deg. 2003 U3 (P/NEAT) was recovered in images taken at the ESA Optical Ground Station in Tenerife with the 1.0m reflector by P Ruiz. It returned to perihelion 1.80 days earlier than predicted. Observations (VEMag = visual equivalent magnitude) Date 10x10 mag Error VEmag Coma ' 02-Sep-14 18.36 0.14 18.0 0.2 11-Sep-14 18.55 0.08 18.3 0.2 19-Sep-14 18.66 0.07 17.6 0.2 26-Sep-14 18.44 0.20 16.9 0.2