Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Comet Offpoint Test, August 8, 2018

Tomorrow morning, from 1430-1505 UTC (10:30-11:05 ET), SDO will perform a comet offprint test maneuver. This is only a test, there is no comet that will be visible. However, it has been almost 6 years since we performed such a maneuver and its good to keep in practice. We only get a day or two notice when a Kreutz sun-grazing comet might be visible. This test allows us to put the instructions in a easy to access location for the next comet.

The Sun will appear to shift to the left during the test. That means it is useful for Kreutz comets in July and August, when the comets appear to come from the right and pass across the face of the Sun. Some science data, such as magnetograms and Dopplergrams, will not be produced while the Sun is shifted from the center of the images.

When a sun-grazing comet arrives, we will be ready to go comet watching!