Mike's SOHO Comet Hunt


COMET C/2000 M2, C/1998 K16 C/1998 K17 (SOHO)
IAUC 7450 2000 July 8
MPEC 2000-N17 2000 July 8

18 June 2000 found 3 more comets, one in live C2 images early this morning. A very faint and diffuse comet, this should be SOHO-144.

The second one was an archive find in C2 data from 29 May 1998. A faint comet seen on 7 images from 08:32 to 12:01 UT. Hopefully to be designated SOHO-145.

The third find is an archive sungrazer in C2 images from 31 May 1998. This is fairly faint and diffuse and appears on 6 images, there is a gap in the data after the 6th image. The appearance of this comet is rather like the live C2 image I found earlier today, but is a little brighter. It moves a vertical path. This should be SOHO-146

Another archive comet found on 17 June 2000. SOHO-143
This one runs parallel to a known comet SOHO-53.

Archive comet from 26 May 1998 = SOHO-141 discovered on June 17 2000

Two new comets found on 16 June 2000 in archive C2 data from 21 May 1998.

Comet 1 from 21 May 1998 = SOHO-139

Comet 2 from 21 May 1998 = SOHO-140

SOHO-129 to 134

Yet another great bunch of comet finds this weekend. All except SOHO-130 are archive finds from C2 data and all in May 1999

Observations summarized below, in order of discovery.

COMET C/1999 K11 (SOHO)  SOHO-129   05/19/99  2222 - 05/20/99 0050  M. Oates
COMET C/2000 L3 (SOHO)   SOHO-130   06/10/00  0357-0806             M. Oates, X. Leprette, M. Boschat
COMET C/1999 K12 (SOHO)  SOHO-131   05/23/99  1320-1630             M. Oates
COMET C/1999 K13 (SOHO)  SOHO-132   05/24/99  0750-1030             M. Oates
COMET C/1999 K14 (SOHO)  SOHO-133   05/27/99  2326 - 05/28/99 0426  M. Oates
COMET C/1999 K15 (SOHO)  SOHO-134   05/28/99  1926-2350             M. Oates

SOHO-122 to 127

WOW!!!!! What a day the 6th June 2000 was, I discovered 6 comets all probable Kreutz Sungrazers in one day, Doug Biesecker says in an email about these discoveries "Most certainly unique in the annals of comet observing" :)

Observations summarized below, in order of discovery.

COMET C/1999 J8 (SOHO)  SOHO-122   1999/05/07 	17:26 - 19:31 UT
COMET C/1999 J11 (SOHO) SOHO-123   1999/05/14	12:06 - 15:06 UT
COMET C/1999 J10 (SOHO) SOHO-124   1999/05/10	23:26 - 1999/05/11 02:06 UT
COMET C/1999 J7 (SOHO)  SOHO-125   1999/05/05	07:50 - 11:26 UT
COMET C/1999 J9 (SOHO)  SOHO-126   1999/05/09	05:26 - 07:26 UT
COMET C/2000 L1 (SOHO)  SOHO-127   2000/06/03	11:30 - 17:06 UT

More on this special day later.

COMET C/2000 K6 (SOHO) SOHO-120
IAUC 7435 (2000 June. 2)
MPEC 2000-L08 (2000 June. 2)

I seem to having a good run at the moment ! Another Kreutz Sungrazer and found in C2 data on morning of May 27. This is a shared discovery with myself Michael Boschat and Xavier Leprette. Not yet been given a designation.

The image on the left shows the comet path by superimposing the comet images on to the first frame. It gives you a good idea of the path and shows how the comet gets fainter as it gets close to the Sun. The comet is moving upwards in the frame.

There is a rather obvious lack of comets to be found in the C3 instrument recently, perhaps we are due for one soon!

COMET C/2000 K5 (SOHO) SOHO-119
IAUC 7433 (2000 May. 30)
MPEC 2000-K37 (2000 May. 30)

Well yet another Kreutz Sungrazer and found in C2 data on May 25/26. Who would belive that there were so many comets out there! This is a shared discovery with M. Boschat and myself.

COMET C/2000 K4 (SOHO) SOHO-118
IAUC 7433 (2000 May. 30)
MPEC 2000-K36 (2000 May. 30)

Wow! yet another Kreutz Sungrazer and found in C2 data on May 22 only one day after SOHO-117. I spotted this one with just 2 images downloaded, it was just entering the field at the bottom. I just knew straight away that this was a comet, it showed a cometry appearence and was able to report it to Doug Biesecker very quickly.

COMET C/2000 J5 (SOHO) SOHO-117
IAUC 7433 (2000 May. 30)
MPEC 2000-K34 (2000 May. 30)

A possible Kreutz Sungrazer, found by looking at data that was 10 days old ! I noticed some gaps in the C2 data and went back to the LASO server to see if the images were now available, I downloaded them and before putting the images onto CD-ROM (I don't have the hard disk space to store all these images) I checked to make sure that there were no comets. Well there was one and it had been missed. It was fairly faint starting at the bottom of the image but it had a definite tail. The C2 data was from 11 May and I found it on 21 May 2000.

COMET C/2000 J4 (SOHO) SOHO-115
IAUC 7426 (2000 May. 19)
MPEC 2000-K08 (2000 May. 19)

A Kreutz Sungrazer, found on the morning of May 15 before I went to work. I found the comet in in C2 images, but Douglas Biesecker says it can also be seen in the C3 images. The comet moves from the bottom edge of the image diagonally to the right rim of the Sun, it gets fainter and disappears at about 2 Solar radii. It shows a short tail. The comet discovery is shared with myself and Xavier Leprette

COMET C/2000 H2 (SOHO) SOHO-111
IAUC 7412 (2000 May. 1)
MPEC 2000-J05 (2000 May. 1)

This comet was first seen on the eve. of 28 April in the C3 images as a faint dot on a sequence of 6 images. It very rapidly got brighter and brighter as it got closer to the Sun. As it entered the C2 frames it had a tail at least half a million miles long and was brighter than mag 1. The discovery was shared with myself, T. Lovejoy, M. Boschat and R. Gorelli.

COMET C/1999 E2 (SOHO) SOHO-108
IAUC 7377 (2000 Mar. 9)
MPEC 2000-E39 (2000 Mar. 9)

My first archive image find and only on the second day of images as well. SOHO was rotated at an unusual angle of 118 degrees, so this comet (a possible Kreutz Sungrazer) is moving from the top of the frame downwards towards the Sun. Found on March 08 2000 while looking at March 2 1999 data from the LASCO C3 instrument. Unfortunately the instrument doors were closed long before the comet came near the Sun.

COMET C/2000 E1 (SOHO) SOHO-107
IAUC 7376 (2000 Mar. 7)
MPEC 2000-E27 (2000 Mar. 7)

This was a shared discovery between myself, Maik Meyer, Mike Boschat and Tim Harincar found on March 4th. This is a member of the Kreutz group of comets, quite a bright one with a tail about 10' long.

COMET C/2000 B5 (SOHO) SOHO-98
IAUC 7386 (2000 Mar. 24)
MPEC 2000-F35 (2000 Mar. 24)

Jonathan Shanklin gave a short talk about the Kreutz comets and his discovery at the Saturday SPA meeting on January 29. I decided to have a go myself, not realising before that such discoveries could be made by downloading images from the web. Very quickly the next day I found a comet, but Maik Meyer a German amateur had already discovered it and reported the find, so in this case I had made an independent discovery. I now had the bug, the hunt was now on!

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