Science & Tech

The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) discovered the 5000th comet

A Czech citizen detected a comet in a picture from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft, and it has now been confirmed as the 5,000th comet discovered using SOHO data. 

Sun and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO)

  • The European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA jointly operate the SOHO spacecraft.
  • Launched in December 1995, its primary goal is to study the Sun, specifically its outer atmosphere, known as the corona, and the solar wind.
  • SOHO examines the Sun at multiple wavelengths of light, allowing scientists to study phenomena such as sunspots, solar flares, and coronal mass ejections.
  • SOHO orbits the Sun at Lagrange Point L1, which is about 1.5 million kilometres (almost 1 million miles) from Earth and provides an unobstructed view of the sun.
  • Its observations have led to discoveries such as-
  1. Identifying solar wind sources, 
  2. tracking eruptions, and 
  3. monitoring variations in the Sun’s activity during an 11-year cycle.

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