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Astronomer tracks down new comet

An amateur astronomer from Switzerland has discovered a new comet.

Michel Ory spotted the comet from the Jura Observatory in Vicques, the International Astronomical Union announced on Saturday.

He tracked its location over several nights. It has been identified as a periodic comet, which has orbital periods of less than 200 years, and will be named P/2008 Q2 Ory.

The Jura Observatory said it was the only periodic comet to have been discovered this year by an amateur astronomer.

Ory, a former physics teacher, said that he had received congratulatory messages from around the world. He does astronomy as a hobby and has discovered around 45 asteroids in the past.

Over the next six years the comet will be most visible during October and November.

Around 200 periodic comets have been discovered, the first being Halley's.

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