14 December 2018 - Mission Day: 8414 - DOY: 348
Pick of The Week

SOHO Comet 2875 (February 20, 2015)

Hi-res TIF (1.6M)

Hi-res TIF (1.9M)

Movies: QT: Large (111M) Small (4.2M)
MPEG: MP4 Large ( 27M), Small ( 13M), M4V (1.5M)

An unusual comet is skirting past the Sun (Feb.18-20, 2015). "It's a 'non-group comet,' meaning that it does not appear to be related to any other comet or comet family that we have on record," explains Karl Battams of the Naval Research Lab. Most comets that SOHO sees belong to the Kreutz family. Kreutz sungrazers are fragments from the breakup of a single giant comet many centuries ago. It first appear as a faint dot in the upper right, then eventually swoops just under the Sun. Towards the end of the video, as the comet begins to sport a tail, the Sun bursts out with a coronal mass ejection to add something more to the scene.

This was SOHO's comet discovery number 2,875. Observers (mostly amateurs) using SOHO data discover over a hundred of these a year. SOHO sees these non-group comets a few times a year.


SOHO began its Weekly Pick some time after sending a weekly image or video clip to the American Museum of Natural History (Rose Center) in New York City. There, the SOHO Weekly Pick is displayed with some annotations on a large plasma display.

If your institution would also like to receive the same Weekly Pick from us for display (usually in Photoshop or QuickTime format), please send your inquiry to steele.hill@gsfc.nasa.gov.


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Last modification: January 26, 2018

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