Astronomers at National Central University's (NCU) Lulin Observatory on Jade Mountain discovered a previously unknown comet on July 11, establishing a new milestone in Taiwan's astronomical research, sources at the Taoyuan-based university reported on July 31.
The comet's discovery was confirmed July 14 by U.S. astronomer James Young at Table Mountain Observatory, Wrightwood, California, resulting in its official recognition as Lulin Comet, C/2007 N3, said NCU Vice President Ip Wing-huen at a press conference in Taipei.
The Lulin Observatory recorded another new near-Earth object (NEO), also an asteroid, classified as an Apollo -- indicating the NEO has an orbit similar to that of 1862 Apollo -- said Lin Chi-sheng, a research fellow stationed at the observatory and the discoverer of the comet. The asteroid has already been designated an international serial number of "2007 NL1", Lin added.
NCU astronomers initiated a project dubbed "Lulin Sky Survey" (LUSS) in March 2006, with an aim to spot as many asteroids as possible. Since then, they have already singled out nearly 400 asteroids according to the university.
(Source: Central News Agency)