Thursday, August 27, 2015

A New Sungrazing Comet, Will SDO See It?

Karl Battams (@SungrazingComets on Twitter) has announced a new sungrazing comet. It is seen in a LASCO image taken earlier today. The image here shows what the comet looked like at 1430 UTC (12:30 pm ET) today.

This is a Kruetz comet, like the first comet seen by SDO back in 2012. The SDO team has decided that our normal pointing at the Sun is all we need to do to capture this comet as it passes across the disk. We used the picture at left to guide us. The comet will reach perihelion (where the plus signs end) just before it goes over the limb of the Sun and disappears behind the Sun. The comet is brightest just before perihelion (if it makes it that far), there is no reason to point SDO to another part of the orbit.

We will try to post images as fast as we can tomorrow afternoon. Perihelion is at 1947 UTC (3:47 pm ET).