Weekly Solar Image 09-02-12

Sorry for my lack of weekly solar images. But luckily I am back and have some images to share of the sun today.

On August 31st sunspot 1560 released a coronal mass ejection resulting in a C-8 solar flare. The CME released by 1560 isn’t exactly Earth directed, but it should deliver a glancing blow to our planets magnetic field. 1560 has quadrupled in size over the last few days, and NOAA forecasts a 40% chance for M-class flares from this sunspot.

Sunspots: 1563, 1564, 1562, 1560, 1553

1560 is the chain of sunspots near the center of the sun in the image above. 1562, 1563, and 1564 are the cluster of sunspots to the left side of the sun; 1553 is the small sunspot on the lower right just about to pass along the limb and disappear out of our view from Earth. The above image is 53 images stacked in Registax and edited in Photoshop.

Sunspot 1560

Above is a closeup view of sunspot 1560. This image is 20 images stacked in Registax and edited in Photoshop. Again, it’s very hard to achieve a sharp focus with the setup I’m using to zoom in on this sunspot. Using the Canon 350D and the 1.25″ Orion Variable Universal Camera Adapter.

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.

Sun Filter and Sunspots

Last week I received my solar film, which is just the filter with no filter cell to hold it to the telescope. This is where a little bit of creativity comes in with making something that will hold the filter to the scope. The film comes with instructions, but I was lacking the correct cardboard material to make it the way they describe. Since I’m on a tight budget I made use of the cardboard boxes that the telescope came in, and made a nice solar filter cell. Hows that for recycling?!
I’ve been out with the telescope a few times to give this filter a shot. It goes on tight and stays on pretty good. Am looking for a way for extra security in holding it on. Although it fits tight, I want it to fit even better.
From left to right: 1486, 1484, 1482
Here is my first stack of the sun, using 7 images stacked in Registax and edited in Gimp. I am still working on perfecting my focus while trying to image the sun. I got a lot of images, but only a very small handful (read: very small handful) that are in a decent enough focus.

November 5, 2011 Solar Viewing Session – Sunspot AR1339

Warning: Never look at the sun directly with a telescope or binoculars. Only view using proper filters, solar telescope or projection method.
Over the suns Northeastern side is a large sunspot grouping spanning an area of 100,000 km wide with each primary dark spot about the size of the Earth that became visible to Earth on November 2. Largest sunspot in years. It’s been slowly making it’s way face on to Earth over the past couple of days.
November 2 it blasted off a M4-flare at 2200 UT which hurled a coronal mass ejection into the solar system, but it wasn’t aimed at us. On November 3around 2027 UT the sunspot unleashed a X-Flare which created waves of ionization in Earth’s upper atmosphere which slightly affected radio waves in Europe and the Americas, but not much happening in our region as far as Aurora’s go. Since November 3 the sunspot has been quiet, but that doesn’t mean that it’s done blasting off flares, and as it aims towards Earth over the days any blasts could possibly result in Aurora’s if strong enough will be visible to us here in the Adirondacks.
In these pictures is the main AR1339 which you can’t miss, also the sunspots 1338. In one of the images I marked which is which. These are projected through my Astromaster 114EQ telescope with the 12.5mm eyepiece making it a magnification of 80x. Pictures taken and edited by Rachael Alexandra.Some trees were in the way of the sun and you can see their shadow in the images.

September 25, 2011 Viewing Session – The Sun

Warning: Never look at the sun directly with a telescope. Only view using proper filters or projection method.

I took out my little 50mm refractor telescope out that I got from a garage sale (not the telescope I use for my night time sessions). I figure I’d use it to attempt projecting an image of the sun onto a white piece of paper to show off sunspots on the suns surface. I used the shadow of the telescope to get me near where I needed to be with the sun since I didn’t want to look at the sun directly. Then I put the piece of paper near the eyepiece about a foot or two away and got the sun in view. Attempting to focus was difficult since this telescope wobbles so much when touched. Takes about 30 seconds for this thing to calm down after touching it. Once I got the sun in focus I used my digital camera to take pictures of the image that was projected through the telescope and onto the white paper. The sunspots are the black dots, many of which are actually the same size as Earth or bigger.

I was unable to make out all the sun spots currently visible today, but I’m extremely happy with the ones I could see. Who says astronomy has to wait for night time? Especially when you have the closest star visible during the day. Below is an image with two of the sunspots labeled and a few different images I took of the sun’s projection.