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Huge Active Region on the Sun

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#1 Special Ed

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 01:16 AM

Hello,

This is the year of the solar maximum and it is getting off to a good start with the very large Active Region 1654 rotating into view.

This AR is so big that I could see it with the unaided eye (through my white light filter) so it is quite a sight with binoculars. The solar disk is also peppered with several other smaller active regions.

I made this sketch with my 15x70 APM binoculars (Kunming Series 8) equipped with Baader AstroSolar film filters on a p-gram mount.

Binocular solar observing is quick and easy--I was able to get set up and start observing in less than 10 minutes. Check this out if you can but remember--only use approved solar filters attached over the objective end of your binoculars--not the eyepiece end.

Good luck with your binocular solar observations.

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#2 Grava T

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 07:17 AM

The sun...what's that? Is that the bright yellow thing I see in the sky once or twice a year.

#3 Man in a Tub

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 07:03 PM

Michael,

Thanks for the post. Since the Transit of Venus last June, I have peaked occasionally at the Sun with my Nikon 12x50 Action Extreme with a Baader AstroSolar Film "box." I am now also a big fan (lurker) of the Solar Observing Forum. The folks there are amazing.

Your sketch is really fine.

I just looked around 15:15 PST (UTC-8). Of course, the active region positions have rotated a bit. Dang! AR 1654 is humongous and almost dead center! Your sketch is very accurate. The other ARs were also easily seen. For me, the best and sharpest view was with the Nikon 12x50 on a monopod. I gave up on hand holding also immediately.

Clear skies,

#4 Special Ed

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:50 AM

Thank you, Todd. Glad you got set up for the ToV--now you're set for the solar max year, too.

Some people think that binoculars just don't magnify enough to be useful for the Sun, but when the sunspot groups are this large, plenty of detail can be seen. And they are easy to grab so you can go. :)

I agree with you about the Solar Observing forum. :cool:

#5 wky46

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 12:18 PM

I've refrained from putting solar film in front of my binoculars for those reasons, but you've changed my mind Ed :cool:

#6 Special Ed

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 09:59 PM

I've refrained from putting solar film in front of my binoculars for those reasons, but you've changed my mind Ed :cool:


Hey, I was hoping to do just that. I don't think you'll be sorry. :cool:

#7 Special Ed

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 02:54 PM

Hello,

Six days after my intial observation I was able to revist the Sun and giant Active Region 1654. In that time the AR has rotated almost completely across our view of the solar disk and a new active region has rotated into view and is parked on the central meridian.

Of interest are faculae near AR 1654. These are bright areas associated with active regions that can only be seen in white light when they are near the limb--the limb darkening allows them to be detected.

Good luck with your own binocular observations of the nearest star. :cool:

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