Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Active Region 11040

Being home with a head cold I have had the unusual opportunity to observe the sun three days in a row, as well as sketch the changing appearance of Active Region (AR) 11040.  While this morning started off with wind gusts in the neighborhood of 10-15 mph, things calmed around 11:00 AM and I decided I would go outside for a quick look.  What I found was a very stable atmosphere, providing for a detailed view of the sun.  Believe me when I tell you that my sketching ability does not do justice to the details visible today, yet I am quite happy with the results.  I believe that this sketch better captures the "orange peel" effect visible when oberving in Ha, as well as a portion of the magnetic field lines surrounding AR 10040.

Instrument: Lunt Solar Systems 60mm Ha telescope/BF 1200 blocking filter
Eyepiece: Baader Hyperion Zoom at 8-12mm
Time of sketch: 1820-1845 UT, January 12, 2010

Carrington rotation: 2092
Solar Diameter: 32.52'

AR 11040 has become quite dynamic, and now includes at least 10 spots.  While the Hydrogen alpha wavelength does not show spot detail as well as white light filters, de-tuning the etalon reveals these spots clearly.  There are a few filaments visible, and during the time the sketch was being completed, the small "eyelash" shaped filament south of the AR developed in under 5 minutes.  The magnetic field lines surrounding the AR were easily observed and extended some distance from the bright parts of the region.  Finally, there were some small, but quite bright and complex prominences.

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