Saturday, October 16, 2010

Solar powered observing

It's been far too long since I had some time on a Saturday morning to observe and sketch the sun.  Lest you think that this morning was all sleeping in, drinking coffee and observing, I only had about an hour to set up the scopes, make the observations, and attempt some sketches due to Ian's little league game.  (Incidentally, he was 2 for 3 at the plate and perfect in 5 chances in the infield- whose kid is that?!?!)

The seeing this morning was nearly perfect.  There was only occasional slight atmospheric turbulence, but well over 90% of the time the image was steady as a rock even at high power.  This sketch was completed at 1625 UT (9:25 MST) using my Lunt Solar Systems 60mm HA scope with 12mm blocking filter.

Active region (AR) 11112 is the feature du jour, sporting some bright plage as well as a large and beautiful snakelike filament.  AR's 11113 and 11115 contain much weaker plage, yet there are obvious dark spots associated with these regions...this inspired me to set up my TEC 140 and Lunt solar prism to examine the spots in white light.  Finally, there is a bright ephemeral region on the central meridian in the northern hemisphere.

Below is my sketch of todays sunspots.   While nothing was noted in the ephemeral region, each of the aforementioned AR's contain spots.  AR 11113 contains a single spot, as does AR 11115 although it's umbra seemed like it may be splitting in two.  AR 11112 contains multiple small spots and is quite disorganized. This sketch was completed (quickly) at 1638 UT (9:38 MST).

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