A NEW COMET: Our Bizarre Search

EDITOR'S NOTE: Having been asked to remove the SOHO comet images; I present my own version above which is many ways closer to the actual.

  NASA: Comet Observation Home Page . 


FIRST TAKE (May12, 1988):


"Then other questions came to mind; could this be Hale Bopp? It has been a particularly strange comet changing paths and such. "
Is this the comet, Saturn, something mysterious? 

different filters, higher resolution 

Click image below for LASCO MPEG 


Editor: we are not sure of comet location, but above is May 3 coronagraph; we notice that the number of frames is far fewer than posted on other dates


See: http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/iauc/06800/06894.html#Item1  


C. St. Cyr, Naval Research Laboratory, on behalf of the SOHO-LASCO Consortium (cf. IAUC 6685), reports the discovery by S. Stezelberger of a bright comet in the northwestern corner of the field of view of the C3 coronagraph, some 8 deg from the sun: 

1998 UT R.A. (2000) Decl. May 3.779 2 10.2 +19 35 "Estimated by St. Cyr at mag 0 and possibly brighter" 

"Computations by the undersigned show that the observations are represented rather unequivocally by the following parabolic orbital elements and suggest that the comet might become observable from the ground, particularly later in the month at solar elongations favoring the southern hemisphere." 



"That object bothers me as being Saturn, because unless you purposely oriented the frame so that the rings were horizontal, Saturn's rings are not horizontal to the ecliptic, as far as I know. Secondly, the enlarged and enhanced image implies several separate nuclei, each separated by thinner streams of debris. These brighter objects outside the main object are too bright in my opinion to be rings. And the central object appears to be composed of several smaller objects either still joined or which have not separated a great distance from each other. In other words, what we may be looking at is something like Shumaker-Levi-9 after it was pulled apart by gravitational forces. And yet there does not seem to be a tail. But then again, Shumaker-Levi-9 did not have a tail either once the nucleus was pulled apart." Bruce Cornet, PhD.

Sorry, I don't know what the funny-looking object is. It is probably an object in the instrument, perhaps a calibration marker. It is not something in the sky. If it were, the IAU astronomers would have mentioned it and sent out notice to astronomers all over the world to get more observations. The comet described in the IAU Circular is not apparent in the image you posted, but "the northwest corner" cannot be the left side, since that must be either east or west. The funny object is at least an order of magnitude too large to be Saturn, provided everything in the photo is part of the same image and to the same scale. Dr. Tom Van Flandern

Regarding the strange object seen near the Sun in the SOHO photo, I believe this object is the planet Mars. The new comet is above and to the right of the Sun, outside the edge of your image. Check out the following hyperlink:http://medicine.wustl.edu/~kronkg/1998j1.html  Dean Dupree

Editor's note: we appreciate the incoming comments.  If anyone has pics of this bright comet, allegedly 0.0-1.5 mag and to be seen on ground-level by end of May (Marsden) please forward to us.

MORE OPTIONS (MAY 13, 1988):

Left, (Stonehouse) discovered by Patrick L. Stonehouse, April 27, 1998  

Right detail C3 coronagraph, May 3, 1988, S. Stezelberger 

Which is now the correct image?  

This C3 Image obtained: 1998 May 4.90 


See Liz Edward's "Star Cruiser" analysis. Please note that this object, deemed by many to be  Mars, actually appears and disappears on successive frames of LASCO MPEGS.


Suddenly appearing on the NASA website is this image, NASA's official SOHO photo of the 1998 comet. (12th May 1998) Now this seems to vary with above announcement (bright comet in the northwestern corner of the field of view of the C3 coronagraph, some 8 deg from the sun: 1998 UT R.A. (2000) Decl. May 3.779 2 10.2 +19 35 "Estimated by St. Cyr at mag 0 and possibly brighter")   What a run around!  It is our best guess that this image was edited out of May 3 C3 coronagraph for delayed release. 

What is this emerging from behind the sun?

From current May 18 C3 ......From current May 18 C2



1. C'mon, astros, we had pics of Bopp a year ahead of time. The new comet is allegedly even brighter than Hale Bopp. Why the run around and delay, as well as a possible edit of the May 3 C3 image?

sci.astro reply: This is a new comet just discovered on May 2nd or so. It plain wasn't known before then.

2. Also can we really define as Mars the blip to the left of the sun? Is it not this huge anomaly way to big and bright even for Saturn, let alone puny Mars? (See Van Flandern  comment above)

sci.astro reply: Haven't seen that image but given its time and orientation and scale it'll be trivial to check for the planets in the field. Mars is indeed near superior conjunction with the Sun around now.

3. Furthermore, what happened to the May 2nd and 3rd and late April LASCO images, and why is the May 3rd only 154k instead of the usual 1000+?

sci.astro reply: Check the LASCO website:

4. And How in blazes did the Millennium Group know about Comet before Marsden announced?

sci.astro reply: Marsden's circular was issued a day or two after the discovery to allow for confirmation and gathering of some early observations.

5. Are the Stonehouse and the Stezelberger comets the same? We assume no, but yet uncertain.

sci.astro reply: No, they are totally separate comets. Stonehouse is a 10th or 11th magnitude thing while this SOHO comet is 0th or 1st magnitude. However, you'll have a better chance with Stonehouse becuase SOHO is low in the est in twilight and horizon shmutz.

Please help us get a handle on this mystery.


"As far as I can honestly say, there is a base positioned under the corona of the sun. It has been there for a very long time and there are regular maintenance missions to it about every four years. This I know as a fact based upon my own experiences. Whether or not you take my information seriously is entirely up to you. As for the pictures of the unknown object that you have so beautifully displayed, I have no idea as to what it could be. It does resemble a ship in having running lights of different colours on each 'wing' and it is also curiously and significantly aligned with the up and down that we see in the pictures. 

Of all of the astronomical pictures I have seen, it takes some manipulation to align an object so precisely to our own level of perspective. I do assume that you did not purposefully align the object in question. I hope this helps somehow." [Editor's weird notion: is our sun "engineered?"]


These Are The Facts!

More Fun And Games With Secrets And Lies

The May 1998 Update and The SOHO Comet

". . .then we began to realize that the comet was likely discovered sometime before and it appeared that they had hoped that it would go unseen as it was to be on the SOHO images only a very short period."

  original message that started our search





"WHAT IS APPROACHING US" Father Malachi Martin


.ORBIT MOTTO: "In an infinite Cosmos all dreams are true."

From Nevada Belle, ORBIT Seer:

"Ok...it was not a very long dream...but it was very 3D you know?

An asteroid the size of a small ../moon is hurtling through space...comes from deep space...as it passes the outer then inner loop of our solar system...it begins to fracture...it passes Mars...which for some reason I recall that from Earth vantage point was in retrograde...and I seem to recall that some of the planets were moving into alignment...and a chunk fractures from the main body...main body misses the planet but the chunk doesn't.

It lands in the Pacific Ocean...center...causing major coastal damage to North and South America (western side), Australia (eastern seaboard)...the Polynesian Islands gone. Japan was devastated as well as the outer islands...tremendously increased volcanic activity, plate tectonic activity in the Ring of Fire...a new volcano is formed in the Southwest region of the US...El Nino goes wild...wreaks havoc everywhere...major flooding of the continental US as well as Central America...severe weather changes planet wide...major earthquakes in Tibet, China, and India...basically worldwide devastation...no one listened to the warnings..."