Sunspot 1520’s Trek Across The Sun

Throughout the week of July 8-14 I was able to get out each day to get an image of sunspot 1520 as it made it’s way across the face of the sun. During it’s trek it released the X1.4 flare I posted yesterday.

One thing I noticed with the projection eyepiece adapter is that it is very difficult to adjust the focus when magnified that much without a fine focus control knob on the telescope. I made do with what I have to bring an image from each day, and I would have continued imaging for two more days as it went around the limb, but unfortunately clouds have rolled in for the next couple days. Some images are a little grainy from me trying to pull out as much detail as I can, and others are blurry from not able to achieve the focus that was necessary. Most days I only had the one shot at the sun before it was too low on the horizon, or behind trees.

The following strip of images is a large file size, so when you click it you will have to scroll up and/or down to view all images in the image strip.

Sunspot 1520 July 8-14, 2012

This was a fun little project to try, and I hope that I get another week of clear skies to track another large sunspot across the face of the sun.

All images taken with the Omni XLT 150 telescope and Canon 350D camera using the Orion Variable Universal Camera Adapter with a 12.5mm eyepiece inserted in it. Multiple images taken each day stacked in Registax and edited in Photoshop.

Weekly Solar Image 7-8-12

I love a nice clear day with no clouds in the sky, it usually means I can drag the telescope and the solar filter out for some solar observing. This is especially nice when it happens on a weekend, so that I can just go out on the back deck before the sun gets behind one of the many trees in the yard.

Doing these weekly images is a lot of fun, especially now that I have a way to magnify on a specific sunspot using my DSLR. Just like last week there is a big sunspot coming around the southeastern limb of the sun, sunspot 1520 with small sunspot 1519 right next to it. Above those two is a small, not very visible, sunspot 1518, and 1514, and 1513 turning away from the Earth’s view.

Sunspots 1513, 1514, 1518, 1519, 1520

Sunspot 1520 is the big sunspot spanning a distance of 127000 km (you can fit 10 Earths inside of this sunspot) from end to end. This sunspot harbors the energy for M-class flares, so I’ll be watching for the possibilities as the week goes on, and maybe we’ll get a chance for auroras here in the Adirondacks. NOAA estimates an 80% chance of M-flares in the next 24 hours although so far 1520 has only produced the lesser C-flares.

Sunspots 1520 and 1519

All images taken with the Omni XLT 150 and Canon 350D. Full disk sun is 195 images stacked in Registax and post processed in Photoshop. Closeup of sunspot 1520 is 65 images using an Orion Variable Camera Adapter eyepiece projector giving me a magnification of roughly 183x.

Weekly Solar Image 6-30-12

Today I decided to get out in the heat, and do some solar images. I couldn’t resist going out seeing how many sunspots there were, and how nice of a cluster there was in the southeast limb of the sun. The main thing that really got me out was a notification of geomagnetic activity.

I had a bit of difficulty achieving focus for some reason, it seems to be hit or miss when I go out and get images of the sun. I was able to pull together a decent stack of the sun to show off the sunspots.

Sunspots: 1512, 1513, 1514, 1515, 1516

This image is 100 images stacked in Registax, and post processed in Photoshop.

This next image was me using my new Orion Variable Universal Camera AdapterI got on Amazon. I used my 12.5mm eyepiece in the projector to get this magnification. The quality of this isn’t quite what I was going for, but overall I’m very happy with the way this came out for my first use. Sunspot 1515 is the largest one on the face of the sun at the moment, and I had to try my hand at getting images of it.

Sunspots 1515 and 1516

This image is 50 images stacked in Registax and post processing done in Photoshop.

Weekly Solar Image 6-16-12

Starting yesterday afternoon into today there has been a geomagnetic storm caused by large sunspot 1504. The aurora reached storm level as this sunspot crossed the face of the sun, and blasted 2 CME’s towards Earth.

Sunspots: 1504, 1505, 1507, 1508. 6-16-12

Sunspots: 1504, 1505, 1507, 1508. 6-16-12

This image of the sun is 100 images stacked in Registax with some post processing done in Photoshop. Images were taken yesterday (June 16, 2012) afternoon, but I ran into some issues when stacking.

Venus Transit With The APO

The Venus Transit event put on by the wonderful people of the Adirondack Public Observatory went off with a bang! It really turned out to be a great day, and there were so many people that showed up for the event. I’d like to thank the people of the APO for putting on the event, and all the people that showed up to the event. You helped make it a fun and enjoyable time.
The skies weren’t exactly clear, even up to 5pm – an hour before the transit started. But we setup on the beach anyway, and at the Wild Center. We were prepared for it to clear, and we were prepared with indoor events in case the clouds didn’t clear. Luckily we were blessed with clear skies from a few minutes before the transit started, right up until the sun set. After sunset the clouds slowly rolled in, and I drove through three heavy downpours on the way from Tupper Lake back to Plattsburgh.
For all images, click to enlarge.
As we were setting up on Little Wolf Beach people started coming in, much quicker than I had expected. There was quite the turnout on the beach, with many people interested in the event asking questions. Unfortunately by the time I got to Saranac Lake I wanted to get a picture on the side of the road, but then realized my point and shoot camera battery was still on the charger at home. Good thing I had my cell phone to grab a few pictures of people at the event.
At times I had quite a line building up around my telescope, people of all ages from children to seniors all seemed to be impressed with what they were seeing. Lots of “ooohs” and “aaaahs” from everyone. I’m just happy that I was a part of it. This was my first time involved in an event like this, and I have to say I loved every second of it. I also got my first look through a Personal Solar Telescope which was very cool to see some solar prominence as Venus was trekking along the face of the sun. There was also a table top dobsonian, a 10″ dobsonian, and an 8″ dobsonian telescope on the beach.
I don’t know what I did in order to miscount how many images I took for each stack, but I ended up with way more than 30 images per stack like I had planned. Glad I got more images than I had planned, it really helped sharpen up the images when stacking and editing them to really bring out Venus, and the sunspots that were visible.
The first image is comprised of 53 images, the second is 61, and the third is also 61. All pictures were taken at ISO200, and a shutter speed of 1/4000 prime focus with a white light filter. As the sun got closer to the horizon you can see that even through the white light filter the sun became a pretty orange color. Images stacked in Registax, and cropped in Gimp.
Here is a time lapse of the sun setting behind some mountains with Venus still in transit. Short 7 second video, best viewed full screen in HD.