SOHO Status Report - November 2005
Operations and Archiving
All instruments are nominal and SOHO science operations are progressing smoothly. Links to the SOHO archives (including mirrors) are accessible at http://soho.esac.esa.int/data/.
Using SUMER and MDI data, a Chinese-German team has located the source region of the fast solar wind between 5000 and 20 000 km above the surface in magnetic funnels. According to their new model, the solar wind plasma is supplied by closed magnetic loops that are swept by convection to funnel regions where they undergo reconnection with existing open field lines. Thereby plasma previously confined within closed loops is released and accelerated to form the solar wind. The results appeared in the 22 April issue of Science.
On 5 August, an Italian amateur, T. Scarmati, discovered the 1000th SOHO comet. Nearly half of all comets for which orbital elements have been determined (since 1761) were discovered by SOHO, over two thirds of those by amateurs accessing LASCO data via the Web. To help publicize comet science, the SOHO project held a contest in the months before the discovery that allowed the public to guess the date and time of perihelion passage for SOHO-1000. The contest drew nearly 10 000 participants worldwide.
Solar Wind 11 / SOHO 16 "Connecting Sun and Heliosphere" was held from 12 to 17 June, 2005 in Whistler, Canada. It combined two of the most successful conference series in solar and heliospheric physics and discussed over 250 papers. The proceedings will be published by ESA's Publications Division as Special Publication SP-592.