AR11808 only joined us a few days ago and is already showing itself having some interesting activity. However on the limb another spot has just rounded onto the disk announcing itself arrival with a crown prominence as it spits small jets of plasma outwards from the sun. All todays shots are rather soft as I was being greedy with the focal length - i was shooting at 3200mm with the 100mm PST mod, with the heat of the late afternoon I should have really backed off to 2000mm or 1600mm fl really. Oh well! These have come out!
Tuesday, 30 July 2013
Monday, 29 July 2013
This active region had already passed over the nortwestern limb of the sun, however it left a legacy; the spot had a spiralling filament wrapping around it, which manifested itself on the limb as a bright and dense prominence. The solar surface looks very choppy and 3D in appearance in this closeup shot taken with the 100mm PST mod at 3200mm focal length with the DMK31 camera.
Sunday, 28 July 2013
Like a strange alien craft, for some considerable time solar magnetic fields held aloft this massive detached prominence suspending it over the limb of the sun. Eventually the field lines snapped and this huge cloud of plasma drifted off into inter planetary space. This shot was taken with the 70mm PST mod, 2x barlow and DMK31 camera.
A plethora of departing active regions including AR11800 shows some minor B-class flaring and a host of filaments twisted by the solar magnetic field lines. Meanwhile over the limb a huge detached prominence hovers majestically. Taken with the 70mm PST mod with 1.6x barlow and DMK31.
Saturday, 27 July 2013
This is the first image taken with new 'pre-Meade' Coronado PST etalon. I have to say i'm pretty pleased! It does seem to have a slightly tighter bandpass than my existing 'made in Mexico' PST etalon which is what I was hoping for. This full disk is a mosaic taken with the 70mm PST mod, 2x barlow and DMK31 camera. The original image is huge, and i'm really pleased how the spicule layer has come out on this, well worth a click on the image to see it full size!
Friday, 26 July 2013
Solar Cycle 24 is shaping up to be the weakest solar cycle in more than 50 years. In 2009, a panel of forecasters led by NOAA predicted a below-average peak. Now that Solar Max has arrived, however, it is even weaker than they expected. Look inside the yellow circle to see the shortfall:
It may be premature to declare Solar Cycle 24 underwhelming. Solar physicist Dean Pesnell of the Goddard Space Flight Center thinks Solar Cycle 24 is double peaked--and the second peak is yet to come. Also, weak solar cycles have been known to produce very strong flares. The strongest solar storm in recorded history, the Carrington Event of 1859, occurred during a relatively weak solar cycle like this one.
Stay tuned for flares? Maybe, but not this week. Solar activity remains very low.
Saturday, 20 July 2013
Pareidolia is a psychological phenomenon involving seeing familiar patterns in random data - examples include clouds that look like animals, the face of the man in the moon, listening to records backwards and hearing hidden messages etc. Prominences on the limb of the sun are a great place where this happens, and friday provided a great example of this!
Thursday, 18 July 2013
Still working through a backlog of images here; one from the 14th, a mosaic of the eastern swathe of the sun with all these new active regions rotating into view. Taken with the 100mm pst mod at 1600mm fl DMK31 camera.
Wednesday, 17 July 2013
Sunday, 14 July 2013
The heatwave continues in the UK and as a result seeing and transparency just aren't as good as in cooler weather. While this is a hinderance for larger aperture scopes, this makes no difference to the Coronado double stacked 40mm. What it loses out in terms of aperture it makes up for with it's tight bandpass in terms of the detail it produces. This shot was taken at f20 (800mm fl) and is a 6 pane mosaic taken with the DMK31.
Not really much left of this active region now, but it is putting on an interesting display of small scale proms as it passes over the suns limb. Taken with the 100mm PST mod at 1600mm fl with the DMK31 camera.
Twisting arcs of plasma indicate there is some activity in the new active region, but just how much? This shot was taken with the 100mm pst mod at 1600mm fl with the DMK31 camera.
Saturday, 13 July 2013
When the suns disk is quiet the only thing to do is bring out the double stacked 40mm scope. The tighter bandpass of this scope can tease out the surface details quite well! Taken with the ds40 @ f20 DMK31.
Zooming in close to our new active region in CaK shows it sporting a light bridge, and a few ellerman bombs can be seen in the shot, but on the whole things look pretty quiet here and are likely decaying...
Dropping back the focal length to 2000mm with the 100mm frac really does show how things have quietened down on our star with regards to the monster active region of the past 2 weeks!
Things are even looking quiet in CaK at the moment, not a huge amount happening on our star! Passing haze and high cloud played havoc in getting even frame brightness for this mosaic. 100mm f5 DMK31.
This is the latest active region to appear on the scene, though, I have to say doesn't look very busy at the moment. Maybe it will grow in the days ahead? 100mm @ 2000mm fl DMK31.
This group of active regions are certainly a shadow of their former selves as they quietly slip over the western limb of the sun. Taken with the 100mm frac @ 2000mm fl with a DMK31 camera.
The sun looks picturesque during this july heatwave we are having in the UK at the moment, but the sun is relatively sparse when it comes to activity. This was taken with the 70mm pst mod at f11 using a DMK31 camera.
This group of active regions has been putting on a show for us for nearly 2 weeks now, but despite NASA giving a >50% chance of M-class flares nothing has happened. Hopefully it should put on a decent display of prominences as it passes over the limb at the weekend.