View Full Version : Discussion: SOHO Nears 1,000th Comet Discovery

2005-Jul-06, 05:14 PM
SUMMARY: NASA/ESA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, the most successful comet hunter in history, is expected to discover its 1,000th comet this summer. In fact, half of all comets ever discovered can be attributed to SOHO. This is because many comets close to the Sun were once part of an enormous comet that was broken up. SOHO can resolve chunks as small as the size of a house as they blaze up near the surface of the Sun. Many of SOHO's comets have been discovered by observers through the Internet.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/soho_1000_comets.html)

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

2005-Jul-06, 05:59 PM
Thanks for the story, Fraser.

This report seems to suggest comets were initially much larger than they are today.

That is news!

With kind regards,


2005-Jul-06, 06:55 PM
Originally posted by om@umr.edu@Jul 6 2005, 05:59 PM
This report seems to suggest comets were initially much larger than they are today.
At least SOME comets were much larger. The Kreutz group comet must have been about 60 miles in diameter. Hale-Bopp was estimated as being 25-40 miles in diameter. Also the Kreutz group comet seems to have first entered the inner solar system only 900 years ago, which is pretty short on the timescale of the Solar System.

2005-Jul-06, 07:28 PM
I was talking to one of the researchers involved with SOHO about a year ago, he said they were planning on making a big PR push around the time of the 1000th discovery and have a prixe, like one of those popup banners saying "youre the 1000000th visitor to the site, you win an ipod", except astronomical, and for real.

2005-Jul-07, 10:06 PM
LOL! A 900 year-old comet is not exactly going to be telling us the pristine story of the early solar system! I guess we need to watch closely to see if a comet is from or with our solar system before the big press releases. So, what have we heard about Temple, is it supposed to be 'a local' or a visitor?

2005-Jul-08, 11:45 PM
Everyday I get an updated screensaver of five (or 6?) views of the Sun from SOHO in different wavelengths. It is so cool to see sunspots rotate around, the wide angle view that shows bright stars and comets, and the corona in H-alpha and X-ray. It's automatic, fun, easy and quite cool to keep tabs on our most important star.

2005-Jul-27, 02:50 AM
I hope they find it.

2005-Jul-28, 09:57 PM
995 (as of today) - will #1,000 be a July comet? Or an August one?? Will it be a Kreutz group one (highly likely)? or not??

The competition closed some time ago now, so we're all on tenterhooks ...