The 1000th SOHO Kreutz comet!!

August 09, 2006 — One one-thousand, two one-thousand…

Almost exactly one year after SOHO’s 1000th comet discovery, another amazing milestone has been reached — SOHO’s 1000th Kreutz-group comet discovery! The comet was the sixth, and last in line, of an unseasonal "comet storm" that produced six LASCO-C3 Kreutz-group comets in just three days! (In May or June we expect this, but in August…)

The discoverer of the comet — SOHO-1185 — was Arkadiusz Kubczak from Poland. It was only his third SOHO comet find, following only three days after his first SOHO comet! Well done, Arkadiusz!

To make it official, all of the recent comet discoveries were measured and sent to the MPC (Minor Planet Center) for reductions and orbit determination. As always, the tireless Dr Brian Marsden — who has single-handedly been responsible for the reductions and orbit calculations of the great majority of SOHO’s 1,185 comets — released the orbits on two MPECs (Minor Planet Electronic Circulars). The published orbits showed all comets to be obvious members of the Kreutz-group, typified by their extremely small perihelion distance (~0.005 to ~0.008 AU) and high inclination (around 144 degrees). The comet in question, SOHO-1185, was given it’s official designation of "C/2006 P7 (SOHO)". (Note that comets found in SOHO images get named after the spacecraft itself, not the person who found the comet in the images.)

I am sure you are all now very eager to see this fantastic and beautiful comet, so…. behold SOHO-1185! 


Ta-da! … … … OK, click on the image and you should be able to see it a little clearer. (Yes, it’s that tiny little white blob in the center of the yellow box.) So it may not be the most spectacular object ever discovered in space, but it does signify another fantastic achievement: the discovery of one thousand members of a comet group that, prior to 1995, was only known to contain only about thirty members!
(The original text is taken from

The 1000th SOHO Kreutz comet!!

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