Monday, January 17, 2011

Solar report ~ Jan. 17th

Being off work today I had a chance to get out mid day and observe and sketch the Sun.  While not extremely active, there are several interesting features of note.  The sketch below was completed at 1910 UT (12:10 MST) using my Lunt 60mm Hydrogen Alpha (Ha) scope with 12mm blocking filter, under mostly clear skies.

You can see that the largest Active Region (AR), #11147 has recently come around the NE limb.  It is fairly bright with dark filaments within the plage area.  There is a spot visible in Ha that seems to have grown larger and darker since my observation yesterday.  There are multiple filaments scattered around the disc, with the ones in the NW hinting at some fantastic prominences in the days to come.  Speaking of prominences, there is a very large yet faint complex of them in the SW.

Most interesting today, were the three ephemeral regions that are apparent in the sketch.  Ephemeral regions are bright plage areas that can last from hours to a few days...sometimes these develop into active regions, but most often they do not.  One of these is visible just west of AR 11147 and seems to contain some dark filament structure. There is another small ephemeral region just to the NE of the center of the disc, and the third is is the SW. This ephemeral region was noted in my observation yesterday, however, you can see that it seems to have developed in both size and brightness and now contains some dark filaments as well...this may signal further development into an active region...we can only hope!

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