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

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.
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Anniversary of SOHO satellite launch. (1995)

The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) is a spacecraft built by a European industrial consortium led by Matra Marconi Space (now Astrium) that was launched on a Lockheed Martin Atlas IIAS launch vehicle on December 2, 1995 to study the Sun, and has discovered 1900 comets.
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Solar and Heliospheric Observatory
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The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) is a spacecraft built by a European industrial consortium led by Matra Marconi Space (now Astrium) that was launched on a Lockheed Martin Atlas IIAS launch vehicle on December 2, 1995 to study the Sun, and has discovered 1900 comets.
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On 2 May 1996, five months after its launch, the first SOHO results were presented by a team of scientists at ESA Headquarters in Paris.
These first results showed, for the first time from SOHO, the constant turmoil in the solar atmosphere even though the Sun appeared extremely quiet at the time to ground-based telescopes.

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As people on Earth celebrate the holidays and prepare to ring in the New Year, an ESA/NASA spacecraft has quietly reached its own milestone: on December 26, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) discovered its 2000th comet.
Drawing on help from citizen scientists around the world, SOHO has become the single greatest comet finder of all time. This is all the more impressive since SOHO was not specifically designed to find comets, but to monitor the sun.

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Today (2 Dec 2010) marks the 15th anniversary of the launch of SOHO - the world's largest and most successful solar space mission.
Over 3,700 papers using SOHO data have been published in refereed journals since the launch, representing the work of over 3,000 individual scientists.  Not only has virtually every living solar physicist had access to SOHO data, many amateur astronomers have also used the publicly released images.  Any day now we expect news of its 2000th comet discovery!

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Anniversary of SOHO satellite launch. (1995)

The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) is a spacecraft built by a European industrial consortium led by Matra Marconi Space (now Astrium) that was launched on a Lockheed Martin Atlas IIAS launch vehicle on December 2, 1995 to study the Sun, and has discovered 1900 comets.
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The SOHO satellite has discovered it's 1900th comet.

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Solar and Heliospheric Observatory
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The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) is a spacecraft that was launched on a Lockheed Martin Atlas IIAS launch vehicle on December 2, 1995 to study the Sun, and has also discovered a huge number of comets. It began normal operations in May 1996. It is a joint project of international cooperation between the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA. Originally planned as a two-year mission, SOHO currently continues to operate after over ten years in space. In October 2009, a mission extension lasting until December 2012 was approved.
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