SOHO Status Report - November 2006
Work on the automation of SOHO operations is progressing as planned. A ground system design review took place on June 16. A CCN to implement the needed on-board software changes has been approved in July. Saab-Ericsson Space has started the work in September and plans to deliver the final product at the end of this year.
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/.
On 7-12 May, the community held a most memorable meeting to celebrate 10 years of successful scientific operations of SOHO (SOHO-17: 10 Years of SOHO and Beyond, Giardini Naxos, Italy). Nearly 300 participants presented and discussed over 250 scientific papers. The papers will be published by ESA's Publications Division as Special Publication SP-617.
SOHO-18 "Beyond the Spherical Sun: a new era in helio- and asteroseismology" was held jointly with the annual meeting of the Global Oscillation Network Group (GONG) from 7 to 11 August at the University of Sheffield, UK. Nearly 130 participants discussed over 150 papers, which will be published by ESA's Publications Division as Special Publication SP-624. A French-Spanish team reported the detection of g modes in the Sun using 10 years of GOLF data. Their results also suggest a solar core rotating significantly faster than the rest of the radiative zone. If confirmed, this could open a new era in the study of the dynamical properties of the central solar interior.
A review in the 14 September issue of Nature magazine summarizes our understanding of solar luminosity variations and their effect on the Earth's climate. The authors conclude that brightening of the Sun is unlikely to have had a significant influence on global warming since the seventeenth century, though additional climate forcing by changes in the Sun's output of ultraviolet light, and of magnetized plasmas, cannot be ruled out.
On 9 August a polish amateur astronomer discovered the 1000th SOHO comet in the Kreutz group of sungrazing comets. Being the 1185th comet discovered in data from the SOHO LASCO and SWAN instruments in total, the faint object is officially designated C/2006 P7 (SOHO) by the Minor Planet Center of the IAU. Before the launch of SOHO only some thirty members of the Kreutz group were known.
This report was prepared on 13 October 2006, and presented to SPC on 7-8 November 2006.