1000th sungrazing comet discovered by SOHO

Aug 10, 2006
1000th sungrazing comet discovered by SOHO
Comet SOHO-1185, the 1000th comet of the Kreutz family of sungrazing comets discovered in SOHO images.

Polish amateur comet hunter Arkadiusz Kubczak recently discovered his third comet in SOHO LASCO coronagraph images, but this one was special: the 1000th SOHO comet discovery in the Kreutz group of sungrazing comets.

While there is no formal definition of a 'sungrazing comet,' the term typically refers to the Kreutz-group comets, which have a perihelion distance of less than 0.01 of an Astronomical Unit (the mean distance between the Earth and the Sun), or some 1460000 km.

The 1185th comet discovered in data from the SOHO LASCO or SWAN instruments (the other 185 are not members of the Kreutz group), the faint object is officially designated C/2006 P7 (SOHO) by the Minor Planet Center of the International Astronomical Union.

Before the launch of SOHO in 1995 December, only some thirty members of the Kreutz group were known. All 1000 Kreutz comets are believed to be fragments of a single comet observed in c. 371 BCE by Aristotle and Ephorus, and the fragments themselves continue to fragment, making more sungrazing comets.

Source: ESA

Explore further: NASA image: Stellar sparklers that last

Related Stories

Kamikaze comet loses its head

Mar 03, 2015

Like coins, most comet have both heads and tails. Occasionally, during a close passage of the Sun, a comet's head will be greatly diminished yet still retain a classic cometary outline. Rarely are we left ...

A new sungrazing comet may brighten in the evening sky

Feb 25, 2015

A newly-discovered comet may soon become bright enough to see from a sky near you. Originally dubbed SOHO-2875, it was spotted in photos taken by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) earlier this ...

SOHO sees something new near the sun

Feb 24, 2015

An unusual comet skimmed past the sun on Feb 18-21, 2015, as captured by the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, or SOHO.

Comet Lemmon, Now in STEREO

Apr 25, 2013

An icy interloper was in the sights of a NASA spacecraft this past weekend. Comet 2012 F6 Lemmon passed through the field of view of NASA's HI2A camera as seen from its solar observing STEREO Ahead spacecraft. ...

Recommended for you

NASA image: Stellar sparklers that last

1 hour ago

While fireworks only last a short time here on Earth, a bundle of cosmic sparklers in a nearby cluster of stars will be going off for a very long time. NGC 1333 is a star cluster populated with many young ...

Light echo helps researchers map out parts of galaxy

5 hours ago

Thousands of years before humans invented agriculture, a bright burst of X-rays left the dense neutron star Circinus X-1, located in the faint Southern constellation Circinus. A year and a half ago, those ...

Observing the birth of a planet

Jul 01, 2015

Astronomers at ETH Zurich have confirmed the existence of a young giant gas planet still embedded in the midst of the disk of gas and dust surrounding its parent star. For the first time, scientists are able ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.