Usually I release confirmations month-by-month, but I am going to change that a little for the next few weeks. Instead, I will post confirmations when we reach 4,975 (today!), 4,980, 4,990 and then... 5,000!! So here are the first of these milestones...
Soho# Date/Time of Post Discoverer Tel Group Images of... ===================================================================== 4968 Jan02,24 18:09:24 H.Tan C3,C2 Kreutz Jan02-04,24 4969 Jan02,24 19:20:24 H.Tan C2 Kreutz Jan02,24 4970 Jan06,24 19:22:10 J.Ruan C3 Kreutz Jan07,24 4971 Jan07,24 01:41:01 J.Ruan C3,C2 Kreutz Jan07-08,24 4972 Jan13,24 21:17:47 R.Pickard C3,C2 Kreutz Jan13-14,24 4973 Jan16,24 10:52:32 H.Tan C3 Kreutz Jan16-17,24 4974 Jan24,24 19:30:45 J.Ruan C3 Kreutz Jan24-25,24 4975 Jan25,24 17:02:36 H.Tan C3,[TBD] Kreutz Jan25-TBD --
Of course, we don't have all the data for Hanjie's bright comet today, but I'm sure it will be visible briefly in C2, and maybe STEREO/COR2 as well. I will check on that next week and update this page.
Note that I was unable to confirm Zesheng's report from January 12.
I also want to point out a minor change to a previous comet discovery. In November last year, Jiangao reported a Marsden group comet to the chat group (and later to the website). At the time we assumed it was the return of P/2002 R4 (SOHO), so it was not given a SOHO number. Then, on December 9 he reported a non-group comet that I numbered as SOHO-4948. However... analysis of the orbits by Rainer Kracht have revealed that SOHO-4948 is actually the return of P/2002 R4, and we were mistaken about the November comet. Fortunately the solution here is simple: Jiangao's comet from November now becomes SOHO-4948 (Marsden-group), and his December comet will not be named. So nobody gains or loses a discovery! Rainer did find that SOHO-4948 could be linked to two different previously-observed Marsden comets, but the linkages have some degree of uncertainty in them, as is usually the case with SOHO comets.
I will also take this opportunity to extend a welcome to the new contributors to the project! There is a lot to learn, and it can be hard to compete with the experts that have been here for a few years, but stick with it and I am sure you can find success! January, February, and March, are slow months for comet discoveries (because of the orbit of the Kreutz-group), but the discovery rate will pick up once we get into early April.
Finally -- just for fun -- I will once again point out that it is statistically quite feasible that SOHO-5000 could arrive on April 8...
As always, please email me with any questions, comments, corrections, or complaints. Oh, and please note that my email address has been updated to email@example.com (same job, same location, just new email addresses for all of us). Emails to the my address will still reach me though.