Comet Bradfield Coming into View (April 15, 2004)
Hi-res TIF image (356K) -
Hi-res LASCO C3 TIF image (1.0M).
SOHO will have the best seat in the house, so to speak, for viewing this latest comet. For most people it will be an internet event. The discovery of C/2004 F4 (Bradfield) by Willliam Bradfield (Yankalilla, South Australia) just occurred on March 23. This was his 18th comet discovery. Unfortunately for most viewers, the comet remains within 20 degrees of the Sun during the time it is bright. Any observations from either hemisphere will be limited to twilight observations until the comet is well past peak brightness. However, the good news is that the comet will enter SOHO's C3 coronagraph field of view on April 16 through April 20th. The coronagraph blocks out the Suns intense light to allow us to see faint objects in the corona.
The still and animation show the comet's projected path for its pass by the Sun. The brightness and angle of the tail are just speculation to give you an idea of how it might appear. Thanks for Peter Kuklok for creating the animation. So come back often and check out its progress.
On a related topic, it should be noted that SOHO discovered its 750th comet recently. SOHO comet 750 was discovered in LASCO C3 images (see also the C2 image) by the German amateur astronomer Sebastian Hönig, one of the most successful SOHO comet-hunters. You can read a press release from ESA on this:
It should be mentioned as well that more than 75% of the discoveries have come from amateur comet hunters around the world, watching these freely available SOHO images on the internet.
SOHO began its Weekly Pick some time after sending a weekly image or video clip to the American Museum of Natural History (Rose Center) in New York City. There, the SOHO Weekly Pick is displayed with some annotations on a large plasma display.
If your institution would also like to receive the same Weekly Pick from us for display (usually in Photoshop or QuickTime format), please send your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.