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Nearing 3000 Comets: SOHO Solar Observatory Greatest Comet Hunter of All Time

Nearing 3000 Comets: SOHO Solar Observatory Greatest Comet Hunter of All Time

07.30.15 – In 1995, a new solar observatory was launched. A joint project of ESA and NASA, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory – SOHO – has been sending home images of our dynamic sun ever since. SOHO was planned to open up a new era of solar observations, dramatically extending our understanding of the star we live with…and it delivered.

But no one could have predicted SOHO's other observational triumph: In the last two decades, SOHO has become the greatest comet finder of all time. In August 2015, SOHO is expected to discover its 3000th comet. Prior to the SOHO launch, only a dozen or so comets had ever even been discovered from space, and some 900 had been discovered from the ground since 1761.

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The LWS Program provides missions to improve our understanding of how and why the Sun varies, how the Earth and Solar System respond, and how the variability and response affects humanity in Space and on Earth.

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