Sunday, March 21, 2010

Solar report ~ First day of spring

Spring has sprung in the desert!  There are many wildflowers on the roadsides, and even the normally dry Rillito, Tanque Verde, and other creeks continue to flow from all the winter rains and mountain snows.  Ian's little league team, the Diamond Jaxx, have their first game tomorrow night!  To honor the start of spring, I repainted the exterior of the Lost Pleiad Observatory yesterday.

This morning dawned with crystal clear skies and quite a stable atmosphere.  I had about an hour to observe and sketch the sun so I set up my hydrogen alpha solar telescope to see what was up.  While the large prominences of the last week have dissappeared, there were still many features to be seen.  Active region 11056 shows some nice field lines both within and around the region.  While I was sketching, the region did brighten slightly, although not enough to be considered flaring.  There are two distinct filaments within the region.  Overall, there are many filaments on the suns disc today, with the strongest in the southeast.  Additionally, it appears that while not yet designated, there is an active region that has come around the east limb.  Finally, there was a small but nice and bright filaprom in the southeast.  The sketch was completed at 1540 universal time, under steady skies.

Since I still had a few minutes, I decided to take a look at the sun in white light, using my 140mm refractor equipped with the Lunt Solar Systems Herschel Wedge.  To my delight, AR 11056 revealed a few spots as well as several more pores.  There were some facula on the west limb, with the one to the northwest possibly being associated with AR 11054 which has just rotated behind the limb.  To the southeast, there was quite a bit of facula, and also a very dark but small spot.  This can be seen in the sketch to be in the same location as the as of yet undesignated active region visible in the hydrogen alpha sketch above.  The sketch was completed at 1600 univeral time (9 AM MST).

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