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#1 Mr Greybush

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 07:27 PM

Well on one of my travels today I happened to venture into a scope shop(name left out of respect) and the guy was adjusting a solar scope and he asked if I would like to look at something you don't see everyday and of course I said yes. He told me it was a huge solar flare. I peaked in and WOW it was huge!!! I not one for exaggeration with this view but it looked the size of a eraser on a no.2 pencil. Now whether or not I could find out from any resources or not of the exact dimensions and a recorded time but the owner of the shop said one that size is rare for a person to view. Now I know flares happens all times of the day or night but a person to view one like myself not even looked through a solar scope I was amazed.

#2 observing1

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 07:29 PM

yes, order a personal solar telescope, they're around $600. Got mine in two days, I saw the prominences today. Its very easy to use, almost too easy.

#3 Mr Greybush

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 07:38 PM

I already spent enough money for a while but I did pick up a glass solar filter for the cat so I'll use it and save maybe for a solar scope later.

#4 rdandrea

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 07:59 PM

It was not a flare, it was a prominence, and yes it was huge.

#5 Mr Greybush

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 08:23 PM

I stand corrected. I will remember the word Prominence.
:bow:

#6 Ed D

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 04:44 AM

Right now there are several groups of sun spots which are pretty interesting. Check out www.spaceweather.com for news about the sun.

Ed D

#7 Seldom

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 09:49 AM

It was not a flare, it was a prominence, and yes it was huge.

From what I can see on wikipedia, most flares have prominences, but not all prominences come from flares, and flares seem to be more energetic, less common events. Can somebody here make it simpler than that?

#8 David Knisely

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 03:01 PM

It was not a flare, it was a prominence, and yes it was huge.

From what I can see on wikipedia, most flares have prominences, but not all prominences come from flares, and flares seem to be more energetic, less common events. Can somebody here make it simpler than that?


Prominences are clouds of ionized gas held in place by complex magnetic fields. They are called prominences when seen on the limb and filaments when seen against the disk (where they appear as darker features rather than bright). There are two basic types of prominence: Active and Quiescent. The most common are the Quiescent type, and as the name implies, they don't do much except sit there and look pretty on the limb. Quiescent filaments/prominences are also sub-divided into two sub-classes; active region filaments (those found in or near active regions) and quiet region filaments (those found generally well away from sunspots and the active regions that contain them). Again, they don't tend to do much except just sit there for days (or even weeks) on-end, although you will occasionally see one just vanish abruptly or "lift off" from the sun and float away, slowly breaking up in the process. Quiescent prominences are fairly common (much more common than solar flares) and are often present on the limb even when the sun is not very active. Solar flares seen on the limb are rarer than the Quiescent prominences. They tend to appear as very very bright features much nearer to the surface of the sun (and are seen mainly on the disk portion of the sun most of the time).

Active prominences are those associated with solar flares and other violent events on the sun. They tend to be bright and rather short-lived, lasting only minutes to an hour or two typically. They come in various types. There is the "limb flare": a modest-sized somewhat low brilliant blob that looks a bit like an irregular "fist" sticking up a short distance from the solar limb. There is the surge prominence: a collimated jet of gas coming up from the surface like the water stream out of a fire hose. There is also the "spray" prominence, where material is blasted out over a wide range of angles in the most massive and violent solar flares (frequently leads to coronal mass ejections). There are also the (post) flare loops that form during the later stages or after a solar flare as material expelled by the flare comes back down and encounters the new field lines created by the magnetic reconnection event that triggered the flare in the first place. These active prominences are quite a bit rarer than the quiescents and not all solar flares produce prominences. In fact, most of the time, solar flares are seen only as brilliant short-lived patches or irregular localized areas on the solar disk rather than on the limb, as the geometry has to be just right to catch one on the limb. Below is a drawing of an limb flare I did many years ago, along with the post-flare loops that are forming above it.

For all the information about these and other H-alpha phenomena, the following article may be of some use:

Observing The Sun In H-alpha

Clear skies to you.

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#9 Seldom

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 03:21 PM

Thanks again, David. Your answers always show how much more there is to learn.






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