Sunday, March 7, 2010

Solar Sketch 7 March, 2010

I had a nice opportunity to observe and sketch the sun today using My Lunt Solar Systems 60mm Hydrogen Alpha telescope (Pictured to the left).  Recently, I had Lunt upgrade the telescope to their new Pressure Tuning system.  This upgrade resulted in my ability much more precisely tune the etalon filter than with the previoius mechanical tuning wheel system.  This allows me to explore in more detail various features on the sun as I can very precisely tune the filter to varying parts of the Hydrogen Alpha band.

Today the sun was very interesting, as there are many filaments (the dark curving lines in the sketch) despite the lack of NOAA numbered active regions (AR).  AR 11051 is on the northwest limb of the sun, almost out of view.  In the northeast is an amazing "filaprom" that appears almost 3D in the telescope.  The filaprom is a combination of the filament - visible as a dark curving feature on the solar disc - and the prominence - visible as bright material off the limb of the sun.  As this is obviously the same feature, it is called a filaprom.  There is a another, smaller filaprom in the southwest.  Despite having no official AR number, there is a decent sized region of activity on the suns central meridian.  this region contains some very pretty mutipart filaments as well as a subtle brighteneing which may indicate an increase in activity coming to this region.  To the right is a photo of the sun, in hydrogen alpha, from the Solar Monitor website approximately 4 hours prior to my sketch, which is below.

Instrument: Lunt 60mm Ha/BF1200
Eyepiece: Baader Hyperion Zoom at 12mm

Time of sketch 1545-1610 UT March 7, 2010

Solar Diameter: 32.23'
Carrington Rotation: 2094

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