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.
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.
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.
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.