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Instructions for filling out comet report form



Please note that some of the more advanced options (*) below are not available to newer comet hunters. However, all comet hunters, new or experienced, have equal ability to report, modify and retract a claim. The "advanced" options simply require experience with the data and images -- they do not offer an advantage to the comet hunters who have them.

  • Reporting a new comet
  • Adding to a previous report
  • Correcting a previous post
  • Retracting a claim
  • *Confirming a comet
  • *Reporting a known comet
  • Reporting a possible fragment/companion
  • Other
  • Some rules/warnings



  • To report a new comet

  • 1: Choose "Potential Comet:"
    2: You do not need to give a time in the "Time" field.
    3: Give the date of the images, or the range of dates for the images (eg 2002/12/20-2002/12/21, 030618, etc)
    4: Choose the appropriate camera and image size options.
    5: Choose the appropriate option to state your (0,0) position.
    6: State which group the comet belongs to, if you know it.
    7: Give the frame time (eg 20:18 or 2018) and x and y values for each position. There is rarely any need to give more positions, but if you wish to do so, use the "Adding positions to a previous post" (below).
    8: Find your name on the drop-down list. If your name does not appear there, select "New user". A form will appear (when you click "Display") prompting you for your name and email address. This is optional. However, we can not credit you with a comet if we do not have your name.
    9: Click "Display". Make sure the details you have given are correct, and then click "Submit".



  • Adding positions to a previous post

  • If you have already submitted a comet report, but wish to add extra positions, do the following. (Note: this is only really necessary for faint comets. If a comet is bright, there is no need to give more than six positions as it is easily visible).
    1: Choose "Further to my post of...:"
    2: Fill out the form as described above under the "To report a new comet" heading.
    3: Find your name on the drop-down list.
    4: Click "Display". Make sure the details you have given are correct, and then click "Submit".



  • Correcting a previous post

  • If, after submitting information, you realise you made a mistake, you can correct it as follows.
    1: Choose "Correction:"
    2: Fill in the details correctly.
    3: Find your name on the drop-down list.
    4: Click "Display". Make sure the details you have given are correct, and then click "Submit".



  • To retract a claim

  • If you have reported a comet, but then realise your report was incorrect, we request that you retract your claim.
    1: Choose "Retracting my claim of:"
    2: Give the time and date of the claim you are retracting, as it is shown on the "Recent Reports" page.
    3: Find your name on the drop-down list.
    4: Click "Display". Make sure the details you have given are correct, and then click "Submit".



  • To confirm another hunters' comet

  • We do prefer for the hunters to 'confirm' comets. Note: This is not an official confirmation. However, it is extremely rare for the experienced comet hunters to confirm a false claim. For this reason we do ask that you don't confirm the comet of another hunter until you yourself are suitably experienced.
    1: Choose "Confirming comet of:"
    2: Give the time and date of the claim you are confirming, as it is shown on the "Recent Reports" page.
    3: Find your name on the drop-down list.
    4: Click "Display". Make sure the details you have given are correct, and then click "Submit".
    NOTE: This option is unavailable to New Users and recently joined comet-hunters. We prefer more experienced hunters to use this option.



  • To point out an already known/discovered comet entering a field of view

  • Occasionally, comets discovered in LASCO C3 will later appear in C2, and very rarely a comet discovered in C2 will later appear in C3 (the latter being non-Kreutz objects). In these circumstances, experienced comet hunters will often post a "known comet" message to inform others that an object that has appeared in the data is already "known". Once again, we ask that only the experienced comet hunters do this.
    1: Choose "Known comet now entering...:"
    2: Give the date, camera and image size.
    3: In the "Frame Time" box, give the time of the first image the comet is visible in.
    4: (Optional) Give your (0,0) position and the x and y values of the comet.
    5: Find your name on the drop-down list.
    6: Click "Display". Make sure the details you have given are correct, and then click "Submit".
    NOTE: This option is unavailable to New Users and recently joined comet-hunters. We prefer more experienced hunters to use this option.



  • Reporting a possible fragment/companion

  • On rare occasions a comet will have a fragment or companion very close to it. In this instance we recommend you select this option, just to make it clear that you are reporting a different object. The method for reporting is the same as used above for reporting a new object.



  • Other

  • If you wish to submit something that is not covered by the above options, you can do one of two things. Email the webmaster, and they will post your message for you, or use the Comments form.



  • Some rules, warnings and miscellaneous information.

  • Please be aware of the following:
    1. If you disagree with any decision made by the webmaster, send an email explaining your reasoning, and you arguement will be considered. Ultimately, however, the decision of the sungrazer webmaster, or a CBAT official, is final.
    2. If a claim is made via email, and a claim is also submitted via the report form, the webmaster will look at the time stamp on the email to determine who made the claim first. Typically, claims less than ~10s apart are given dual credit. However, in cases such as these, inaccurate postings are looked upon less favourably.
    3. Following on from #2... Claims consisting of just one solitary position will be completely disregarded under almost all circumstances. Credit will be given to the first person to provide two or more accurate positions of the comet. This means that if you submit just one position, other comet-hunters are free to take your position and add one of their own and get credit! So I repeat, do not submit just one position!!! The only time you may submit a single position is when using either the "Correction...", "Further to my post of..." or "Known comet entering..." options.
    Further to this subject, in any situation where there is uncertainty as to who should get credit for a discovery, credit wil always be given to the hunter who most closely followed the requirements of four-or-more accurate positions.
    4. For the sungrazer webmaster to be able to confirm a comet, it must be visible in a minimum of five images, at least four of which must be consecutive images. Often, for C3 especially, six or seven images may be needed for confirmation. If you make a claim with less than five positions, and you can not find any subsequent positions for the object, you must retract your claim.
    5. If you submit a claim to the sungrazer claim form with the wrong name, you must do two things. First, resubmit your claim to the message board with your correct name, and second, email the sungrazer webmaster immediately stating the error you made. The webmaster will then contact the comet hunter who's name was incorrectly used. If that person denies posting the claim, you will be given the claim. However, if the comet hunter does not deny posting the claim, they will be awarded the claim. Therefore it is your responsibility to ensure all the details you are submitting are correct.
    6. Excessive reporting: If the webmaster feels that an individual is reporting excessive amounts of noise, cosmic rays, stars, etc, they will be sent a warning email asking them to cut down. If they do not act upon this warning, the webmaster may remove them either temporarily or permanently from the list of comet hunters. Their reinstatement will be purely at the discretion of the sungrazer webmaster.
    7. Comet numbering: Comets are usually numbered (SOHO-###) in the order the reports are received. However, as the numbering system is for internal purposes only (the CBAT name being the official name of the object), SWAN discoveries and archive discoveries might not get numbered sequentially. Often, these comets will get the next 'available' number.
    8. Archive claims: Following on from #7... an archive claim is a claim from images not deemed to be in the "realtime" data stream. This time period varies, but usually any claim made from images more than ~48 hours old is considered an archive find and is subject to numbering as outlined in #7., above.

    "Automated" downloading:
    Software tools are increasingly available that allow you to automatically download files from web servers at whatever rate you choose. There are also tools available that allow you to generate and download a list of URLs (web addresses). These tools are perfectly acceptable for use in SOHO comet hunting, but ONLY under the following circumstances:
    I.: Automated scripts do not connect to the LASCO data servers (lasco6, lasco-www, sohowww) any more frequently than every 15 minutes.
    II.: You do not generate a list of every possible image download URL and repeatedly test the server for availability of those data.
    Both of those rules are in place to ensure the security of our webservers. Excessive automated connections to servers could be misinterpreted as malicious activity ("Denial Of Service") and can result in your IP address being blocked and/or your comet hunting priviledges being suspended.

    Questions?
    As with any aspect of this SOHO comet project, if you have any questions about these rules or are unclear in any way about them, do not hesitate to contact the project administrator ("Mr Sungrazer") at sungrazer@nrl.navy.mil. Your email will get answered.