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The Sun 24th April 2015 – Huge Prominence !

April 24, 2015 Leave a comment

diskproms-15-04-24-07-37-47

Occasionally the activity on the Sun is just visually stunning and this is one of those occasions. I had been tracking solar activity remotely via the GONG worldwide solar monitor here http://halpha.nso.edu/ and noticed this huge extended hedgerow prominence developing on the NE limb. Having missed an opportunity to image it yesterday I though I would get up early before the cloud and rain rolled in this morning to capture some images. I was extremely lucky to get a decent view in rapidly deteriorating conditions. Within 15 minutes of starting to take images the cloud had completely covered the Sun ! As a bonus there was also a prominence lifting off the surface in the west – what a fantastic sight ! Images taken 7.35 to 7.50 am (UTC+1) 24/4/15 Coronado PST Ha and DMK41 camera

bigrom

Above: A close up view of the huge hedgerow prominence on the north east limb

liftoffprom2-15-04-24-07-49Above: On the right a prominence can be seen lifting off from the surface of the Sun due to the magnetic field disconnecting, hurling hot gas plasma thousands of kilometres off into Space

Categories: Solar Tags: , , ,

The Sun 27/3/15 – Big changes on the limb and a few new sunspots

March 27, 2015 Leave a comment

diskproms2-15-03-27-15-36-5

Ha Disk

The splendid hedgerow prominence from yesterday has gone ! The magnetic field holding all of that plasma together became unstable and the material was ejected off into space at around 13:00 today. Things change fast on the Sun and that is why it is such a fascinating object to observe. The coronal mass ejection from this event is not predicted to have any major impact on Earth.

So what else is there to see ? Well there is a good smattering of feathery, curving filaments across the disk in Ha light and Active Region 2305 is smack in the centre, but not really putting on much of an energetic show. It has split onto three sunspots now and the CaK view shows up lots of other small spots and pores (2310, 2312 1and 2313)  extending off to the limb. In the east (east and west are inverted in the disk view above) there is one large prominence left on the limb.

hapromsclose-15-03-27-15-52 The single large prominence on the east limb

HaArclose-15-03-27-15-49-36Active Region 2305 in Ha light showing the filaments to the left and finer curving magnetic flux around the sunpsots

cakdisk-15-03-27-16-00-02vdThe Sun in CaK light showing active region 2305 at the centre and additional spots and pores

90% Solar Eclipse over Mid Wales 20th March 2015

March 20, 2015 2 comments

hadisk1alt23Above: Ha view with single sunspot region 2303 visible and some curving wispy filaments

The Sun is throwing an embarrassment of riches at me this week with a first ever view of the aurora on Tuesday night and now a perfect blue-sky view of the 90% solar eclipse from the front garden ! I was well prepared this time with all batteries charged up and a ‘Plan B’ mobile solution which could be powered from the car if the notorious local river fog blotted out the view. The weather conditions turned out to be perfect though with early cloud passing over from the north west leaving a clear blue sky completely through the eclipse event from first to last contact. The whole event lasted between 8.40am and 10.40am with maximum coverage at our latitude of just over 90% at 9.30am.

The neighbours gathered around close to the maximum and watched via the video footage on the laptop screen while I captured footage via the DMK41 mono video camera on the Coronado PST Ha and CaK scopes mounted on the EQ6 drive. It was a very pleasant event and everyone had a good view. There was a terrific quality of light at maximum with lots of long shadows cast across the landscape and a deep navy blue sky.

The images are all single frames selected from the 1000 frame footage of the videos as my stacking software (Registax 6) has issues with aligning points when both the sun and moon are moving relative to each other in the video footage. Even so I am very pleased with the results which make up a fine record of the event.

caksun1alt3Above: CaK View with Sunspot region 2303 visible

hadisk4alt

hadisk5maxaltAbove: 9:30am Maximum coverage for our latitude at just over 90%

hadisk6minaltAbove: Near last contact at 10:38am – just a small bite out of the sun at bottom left

haproms1alt2Above: Some fine prominences on the limb

Don’t miss the UK partial eclipse on 20th March 2015 – last one until 2026 !

Partial Solar Eclipse in UK - August 2008

If you happen to live in Svalbard or the Faroe Islands you will be treated to a 2 minute and 46 seconds total solar eclipse early on the morning of the 20th March 2015, the last total solar eclipse in Europe until 12th August 2026 ! For the rest of us in the UK we will have to be content with somewhere between an 80% and 95% partial eclipse, which is still quite exciting and visually spectacular.

In the UK the partial eclipse will start 8.25 am (based on London location) and finish by 10.45 am (based on Inverness location) with maximum eclipse coverage at 9.31 am (based on Birmingham location). The time only varies very slightly by a few minutes across the UK and you can get more detailed information here http://www.solareclipse2015.org.uk/chasing-the-shadow/about-the-eclipse/

The last time I saw a partial eclipse in the UK was on 1st August 2008 and the weather was awful. The cloud did part very briefly though and I managed to get the image above at maximum coverage. Fingers crossed the weather on 20th March will be better and I will certainly be trying to get some better images this time with the Ha and CaK solar telescopes.

As ever, please protect you eyes with the appropriate safety precautions in place before looking directly at the Sun.

Categories: Solar Tags: , , , , , ,