Posts Tagged ‘SOHO’
Since September 23, the comet Elenin may be visible in the field of view of spacecoronagraph C3, installed on the spacecraft SOHO. As comet disintegrated or still disintegrating, there is a strong likelihood that we did not see anything or see it, but only after post processing of the original images (I recommend not work with JPG files, to avoid possible artifacts). On images comet will move from left to right, “under” the Sun. It may be seen as a fuzzy, hardly visible cloud. Stay tuned.
The first image of the comet Elenin from the spacecraft was received on July 22, by SWAN instrument (Solar Wind Anisotropies), installed on the SOHO space solar observatory. The comet was detected on the images from July 22 by Vladimir Bezugly.
Image resolution is small, but comet is visible in the coordinates – 160 0 (slightly right from the center of image). Images taken at distance about 240,000,000 km (1.6 AU). I would like to remind you, that two days later, comet C/2010 X1 (Elenin) will be in 32 times closer to the other spacecraft – STEREO-B.
As I wrote earlier, NASA is interested in observing Comet C/2010 X1 (Elenin) with the space coronagraphs SOHO and STEREO. Not long ago I received a reply from Joseph B. Gurman to the effect that starting July 17 they will be running pointing tests on the space telescope STEREO-B. The spacecraft will be rotated as will be necessary to do in the future to observe the comet. If all the tests are successful, of which the STEREO team has no doubt, they will observe Comet Elenin from July 31 to August 12, two hours a day. The minimal distance (July 31 2011, 12:40 UT) between comet and spacecraft will be 7.4 million km (0.049 AU). Plans to observe the comet using SOHO with different fliters are also in the works.
At the moment the comet is not yet attainable photographically from our observatory. Observers near the equator can observe it longer, but unless the comet breaks up near perihelion, we will be able to observe it in all its glory starting the beginning of October. I hope the nucleus of the comet will survive and it will give us a beautiful view.