SOHO reaches milestone after spotting 2000th comet
Washington: An ESA/NASA spacecraft has reached a milestone- the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) has spotted its 2000th comet.
SOHO-designed to monitor the Sun and not find comets-has become the single greatest comet finder of all time.
"Since it launched on December 2, 1995 to observe the sun, SOHO has more than doubled the number of comets for which orbits have been determined over the last three hundred years," said Joe Gurman, the U.S. project scientist for SOHO at NASA`s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt.
Of course, it is not SOHO itself that discovers the comets-that is the province of the dozens of amateur astronomer volunteers who daily pore over the fuzzy lights dancing across the pictures produced by SOHO`s LASCO (or Large Angle and Spectrometric Coronagraph) cameras.
"There are a lot of people who do it. They do it for free, they`re extremely thorough, and if it wasn`t for these people, most of this stuff would never see the light of day," said Karl Battams who has been in charge of running the SOHO comet-sighting website since 2003 for the Naval Research Lab in Washington.
In 15 years since it launched in December 1995, the SOHO spacecraft took ten years to spot its first thousand comets, but only five more to find the next thousand.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- China condemns Pakistan over Uri terror attack
- Indian- Americans launch online petition to declare Pakistan 'sponsor of terrorism'
- DNA: Analysis over who is responsible for tense condition of Kashmir after Burhan Wani's death?
- Congress workers thrash students for showing black flags to Rahul Gandhi in Raebareli
- EU warns Pakistan of political and economic sanctions over atrocities in Baloch
- Onam Bumper Lottery/Kerala Thiruvonam Bumper-2016 BR-51 draw result declared - Here is the winning ticket number
- Uri attack: Israel ready to help India with cutting-edge technology to secure borders
- India's Rafale vs Pakistan's F-16: Why the French fighter jet is the best choice for dogfight
- MNS ultimatum to Pakistani actors: Leave India in 48-hour deadline
- All you need to know about Reliance JioFi at Rs 1,999 – use free data till December 31