Sungrazer Project Status
- Dear All,
It's time I filled you in on the status of the Sungrazer project -- specifically, the SOHO aspect of it. As you may or may not know, SOHO is now very much in a phase of 'extended operations', which essentially means it does the same thing for virtually no money. So, for example, instrument teams (e.g. LASCO) are no longer funded to analyze/study the data. There is only a small amount of funding for very basic operations.
What does this mean for the Sungrazer project? I'll be blunt: it means that the project no longer has funding to continue. In the last year I have been actively pursuing funding opportunities with proposals to NASA, but with no success. I am working a last couple of possibilities but these may or may not work out, or be successful. Even if one of these do result in success, it will be several months at least before I could obtain any funds.
Therefore, I am sad to say that as of now, I have no option but to put the Sungrazer project into 'hibernation'.
What does this mean? It means that you can keep making reports but I will not be able to perform the confirmations or the measuring (astrometry) of new SOHO comets. For now, the website can remain active but I can not promise it will always be like that -- it depends what happens to the project in the future. I do have limited funds to work on the STEREO aspect of the comets, so I can still measure any new non-Kreutz comets found in STEREO images, keep an occasional check on the website, add 'new users' to the list, etc.
I will try to volunteer some of my free time to measure any particularly interesting SOHO comets, but the order of priority will have to be (from highest to lowest priority) : non-group, non-Kreutz, 'new' Kreutz, archive Kreutz. Logistically, this will get difficult if new comets are not confirmed. We'll have to work something out there.
So that's where we are. I will still be here, but you will see a lot less of me especially in relation to SOHO comets. You can, of course, continue to email me reports if the website is down. I will keep you all updated with any news that affects the project.
A copy of this message will be sent to the Sungrazer website and the 'STEREOHunter' group.