Thursday, June 3, 2010

More Solar Observations

So perhaps I am becoming obsessed with Solar observing?  I know it is becoming serious when I am thinking about how to piggyback my scopes in the observatory so that I can do both hydrogen alpha and white light observing simultaneously.  Right now I either need to switch scopes, or set one up on a tripod...anyway, with summer hitting the naked pueblo full force this week, the best observing is actually before 8 AM.  This means that if I am moving early enough I can actually observe and sketch the sun before going to work.

Below is a sketch that I completed yesterday (6/2) while observing through my Lunt Solar Systems 60mm hydrogen alpha scope, along with an image from SOHO, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory.   My sketch is reversed E-W from the SOHO image.

Below is an image taken by photographer Alan Friedman from Buffalo, New York.  His website is well worth a visit as it contains some spectacular astronomical imaging.  The false-color image is centered on the prominence on the northeast limb and provides a good sense of what a prominence looks like at the eyepiece under extremely favorable atmospheric conditions.  Also captured in this image is the spiculing all along the limb.  These are the small dagger-like projections that are actually waves of plasma ebbing and flowing around the chromosphere.

The large active region, NOAA #11076, in the southwest of my sketch contains several sunspots, and early this morning I had a chance to observe and sketch them in white light.  Below is my sketch, as well as an image taken by Paul Robertson from the U.K.  You can visit his blog here.  Again, my sketch is reversed E-W from the image.

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