Full confirmations for December 2023

This is the complete set of December 2023 discoveries, plus that one archive claim I had from Qicheng.

Soho#  Date/Time of Post  Discoverer     Tel     Group   Images of...
4941  Dec01,23 02:48:03   J.Ruan        C3,C2    Kreutz  Dec01-02,23
4942  Dec01,23 21:44:49   H.Tan           C2     Kreutz  Dec01-02,23
4943  Dec02,23 14:51:07   Z.Xu          C3,C2    Kreutz  Dec02-03,23
4944  Dec02,23 15:52:33   H.Tan           C2     Kreutz  Dec02-03,23
4945  Dec03,23 10:03:36   H.Tan           C2     Kreutz  Dec03,23
4946  Dec07,23 00:10:50   J.Ruan          C2     Kreutz  Dec06-07,23
4947  Dec08,23 23:39:57   J.Ruan          C2     Kreutz  Dec09,23
4948  Dec09,23 06:21:00   J.Ruan          C2     NonGrp  Dec09,23
4949  Dec09,23 15:15:10   J.Ruan      C3,C2A,C2  Kreutz  Dec09-12,23
4950  Dec09,23 17:08:04   J.Ruan          C2     Kreutz  Dec09-10,23
4951  Dec10,23 23:31:43   J.Ruan          C2     Kreutz  Dec10-11,23
4952  Dec11,23 05:24:56   J.Ruan          C2     Kreutz  Dec11,23
4953  Dec11,23 18:54:28   J.Ruan          C2     Kreutz  Dec11,23
4954  Dec11,23 21:53:05   J.Ruan          C2     Kreutz  Dec12,23
4955  Dec14,23 10:28:43   J.Ruan        C3,C2    Kreutz  Dec14-15,23
4956  Dec16,23 04:57:23   J.Ruan          C2     Kreutz  Dec15-16,23
4957  Dec17,23 04:29:21   J.Ruan          C2     Kreutz  Dec16-17,23
4958  Dec17,23 13:26:43   J.Ruan        C3,C2    Kreutz  Dec17,23
4959  Dec18,23 01:21:50   R.Pickard       C2     Kreutz  Dec18,23
4960  Dec22,23 05:14:41   W.Boonplod      C2     Meyer   Dec22,23
4961  Dec22,23 05:29:23   Z.Yang      C3,C2A,C2  Kreutz  Dec22-24,23
4962  Dec24,23 10:23:49   H.Tan           C2     Kreutz  Dec24,23
4963  Dec25,23 05:30:24   E.Banach        C2     Kreutz  Dec25,23
4964  Dec26,23 07:58:06   J.Ruan        C3,C2    Kreutz  Dec26-27,23
4965  Dec27,23 00:44:54   H.Tan           C2     Kreutz  Dec26,23
4966  Dec30,23 16:48:41   H.Tan           C2     Kreutz  Dec30,23
4967* Dec05,23 07:16PM    Q.Zhang         C2     Kreutz  Oct15,23

Congratulations to Eryk on his successful return to SOHO comet hunting after a 10 year absence! It always makes me happy to see people return to the project!

I will now not confirm at any "archive" SOHO reports until after we pass SOHO-5000. I should note that there is no clear definition of what "archive" is, but in previous years we have assumed it to mean data that has been available for more than approximately 48 hours. But we treat them on a case-by-case basis. I do not think we will run into any problems or disputes, though.

We ended 2023 with 219 comet discoveries for the year, which is the most we have had in a year since 2018 (which also had 219 discoveries). Here is a plot of SOHO discoveries broken down by year. Note that in 2010, LASCO started returning more data, and this caused a small increase in the yearly discovery rates.

And this is how these break down into the individual groups:

It has always amazed me how consistent the comet (Kreutz) rate is in SOHO (although 2016 was a strange year). Certainly there must be dense "clusters" of comets along the Kreutz orbit, and probably also areas with very few comets. We saw small increases in 2012 and 2017, but I'm sure much more dense parts of the stream exist. Of course, these could be decades or even centuries away from reaching perihelion, but there is always a chance that a cluster could arrive any time. We just have to keep watching and waiting...

Once again, I will remind you all that publicity for the project will increase substantially in the coming weeks as we get close to SOHO-5000, and also as we approach the solar eclipse in early April. (Statistically, I think we will reach SOHO-5000 later in March, but if things slow down... well, an eclipse comet would be quite special...). So please be understanding of new project contributors as they learn to navigate the project. I will try to put names to all 'New User' reports, as long as names are provided.

As always, please email me with any questions, comments, corrections, or complaints.