Solar Sunspots Return- Fly Me To The Sun!
Posted 22 September 2009 - 11:41 PM
Well with all the uproar about the new sunspot, I had to dust off the old h-alpha Coronodo and take a look. Well, you know I was observing the sun when it was big in 1999 ~ 2005 so it is hard for me to get excited about small activity.
Low and behold, it was not so much sunspot 1027 that I noticed but a great surface prominence area below the sunspots further south. [This I just learned from Spaceweather.com is the sunspot 1026.] They appeared like dancing ghostly cobwebs. Just then a jet airliner streamed across transiting the very area I was observing. What a thrill.
So I rendered this quick field sketch as an "Impression Sun".
*Technical: Sun viewed thorugh h-alpha Coronado 40mm Filter <0.5 Angstrom mounted on 60mm Meade EXT Refractor. 12mm and 9.7mm eyepieces used. Sun low and near horizon [20 degrees from horizon] setting at 06:07 PDT [00:07 UT] with light wind at 80 F Degrees ambient temperature. Strathmore Artagain black paper in 9" X 12" with various pastel chalks.
* I tried to upload the new Tilting Sun program but I see that Les Cowley has some Vista Windows problems with it. It would not run on my new state of the art Toshiba Laptop- Satellite L555.
Any advice would be welcomed,
My CN Gallery
Posted 23 September 2009 - 08:19 AM
Great solar sketch. When you live at or near an airport flyway you see this event now and then. It sometimes is startling when it happens. It is over in seconds so you did well to capture it and record it so well. Excellent!
Posted 23 September 2009 - 09:23 AM
Posted 23 September 2009 - 01:09 PM
Thank you. This was not my usual process to sketch. Nor is this my usual response as I had hoped, I have been on the road for over a month now. Yes, I have observed the sun in h-alpha for over ten years now. You would not believe how many earthly and space objects I have seen pass in front of the sun; thousands ot satellites, birds, geese at several thousand feet in flocks, etc. Wished I'd had a camera on the eyepiece! (;
Thanks Rich for reminding me of emailing Les about the Tilting Sun Program. It's really this new 'damned' "Windows Vista" that I was warned about. even though my new Toshiba Satellite L555 Laptop is a state of the art computer. I am amazed by it to say the least, as it has everything, live camera Skype, built-in everything!
I may just add the hand sketch of the Tilting Sun again as I did before. So I am not with all my usual set up to sketch but I can do some now as I settle into the mountians here, although this was a small one and without Photohop I am learning the lesser MS Paint now after being spoiled with Photoshop for years if only to cut the frames and paste (it will force me to further straight art and no touch-ups or faked electronic clean-up to the art), not my usual forte' anyway; this first small solar sketch was done on the fly. I thought Dr. Tony Philips would display it in his Spaceweather.com front page today with all the other Solar Images (but not yet?) . . .
*Please excuse the long report:
I am trying to decide where I will retire. I am actually still in my original backyard so to speak. Staying in a resort community on the east slopes of the Cascade Mountains in Central Oregon about a 2 hour drive from where my established home was for 20 years on the west slopes of the Cascade Mountains in the east Portland suburban town of Troutdale at the Gateway to the Columbia River Gorge.
This last weekend I provided two lectures with all my art and astrophotography for this Cascade Mountain community, one for an audience of about 40 in a large affluent home in the area a few nights ago, Excerpts from motion film
the other presentation was outdoors which we did not film. One other gentleman within the Rose City Astronomers provided a pre-presentation before we allowed those attending to observe thorugh a 28 inch reflector under dark skies for the evening. Here is a photo of that instrument as seen at the Oregon Star Party, reported by Astronomy Magazine >
Dan Grays 28 inch telescope at the Oregon Star Party in early 2000's (date ?)
Although Central Oregon is known in the World at Night photo as having the largest dark sky area in the continental 48 states, many have never observed the night sky here. There is also a large observatory facility approx 30 miles to the south. The Sun River Nature Center.
It houses a 20 inch Ritchy Cretien and a plethora of other telescopes under a roll-off roof. I had seen the dome for years but was not aware of the newer room with roll-off roof and astronomy store. This facility is providing a star party tonight and I offered to assist them.
Although I just discovered their site photo gallery with above link, I took my own photos in a panorama two days ago with my twin alto ego assisting me [note distortion of perspective in flat roll-off roof as attached photos merged at center] >
Sun River Observatory with two Marks
As you may not have known, I was providing evening sidewalk astronomy for the past two weeks west of Portland at the 24 hour Ava Coffee House > Here is another posed and arranged work with actual photo insetr I took with a 5 mgpxl consumer grade camera through a Nexstar 5i. *Note the cultural diversity and gender minority (me). I entertianed what looks like a small group but actually hundreds are present here from night to night; in this photo it only looks like a small group of young people on that evening and other nights into the early dawn hours >
SmallGroupObservesMoonThroughNewstar5i At Ava Coffee House in Old Town Beaverton Oregon
Posted 29 September 2009 - 09:40 AM
Les has a version compatible for Vista. I use it on my machine and have no problems. You should email him.
Posted 30 September 2009 - 10:26 AM
I emailed Les about the Tilting Sun program. He just put up a new version but I have not had time to download/update it; I am not up to specs about how to install and run new programs. I may try it again today. I am staying in the Central Oregon Mountains so wi-fi is at times up and down for connections.
I also observed the 1026 ~ 1027 sunspots through a 90mm double-stacked h-alpha at Sun River Observatory last Saturday; WOW! I could easily see so much more detail in that larger aperture than my 40mm. many other smaller prominences visible also. [They told me the entire set-up was $13,000.] I worked on a sketch but did not finish due to that the public was allowed preference at the eyepiece. I may finish it soon, although without direct observation.
Posted 30 September 2009 - 12:44 PM
Don't worry about it. It was close enough.
Posted 30 September 2009 - 04:55 PM
An outstanding observation of the Sun in H-alpha. It must have been exciting to watch the prominence south of sunspot group 1027. Thank you for sharing it with us all.
If you are having problems with Photoshop then I suggest try using GIMP for Windows (the price is right (FREE)): http://gimp-win.sourceforge.net/
Posted 05 October 2009 - 09:47 PM
Thank you. I just re-installed my old Photoshop and I'll try to re-install Tilting Sun again soon.
I forgt to enter the sketch contest for the second month in a row ?!?! I'm getting old or something? Too busy in retirement?