Solar Astronomy on March 10, 2012

I set up my telescope in solar astronomy mode yesterday in my very small backyard. I was able to observe the Sun in visible light and H-alpha light for a couple of hours. I imaged a large sunspot group that is associated with the solar flares we have been hearing about these past few days.

The photo shown here is of the largest sunspot group seen that day. I am amazed by the detail that shows up after processing. You can see granulation on the surface of the photosphere, and in the sunspot group you can see portions of sunspots being stretched by magnetic field lines. At this point in the 11-year solar cycle, the sun is attractive to both professional and amateur solar astronomers as it shows a lot of activity. I have read that after my imaging session , there were two solar flares. Too bad I took the setup down too soon. Maybe I will get lucky nest time around. I would love to image a solar flare in the H-Alpha telescope. 

Here is the large sunspot group along with a sketch with features labeled that I got from the 150 foot solar tower at Mt. Wilson observatory:



~ by matthewota on March 28, 2014.

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