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Classic Solar Observation

astrophotography beginner classic observing report refractor sketching solar
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#1 AllanDystrup

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 01:43 AM

  

Solar Cycles

             

     We are closing in on minimum of the current solar cycle 24, the lowest activity cycle in more than 100 years.

    

Solar Cycle 24.png
Weakening progression of solar cycles since 1980 --
WDC-SILSO, Royal Observatory of Belgium, Brussels

 

     

     Some are speculating that we may face another grand solar minimum like the 1645-1715 Maunder minimum, with much colder weather winters and summers.

    
400 years Sunspot Obs.png
https://da.wikipedia...Maunder_Minimum


    

     Well, we'll see, but the low activity has prompted me to gather some of my observations from the peak years of this past #24 solar cycle, and post these as a review of how I have experienced the development in solar activity through my small classic refractors.

    

    

1998

 

     I'll start with a nostalgic, retrospect view from 1998, right at the minimum between solar cycles 22/23, -- there are still some sunspots visible in this old school solar projection sketch, using my vintage 3" Nihon Seiko Unitron refractor with a 1000 Oaks T2 glass solar filter:

 

SUN-980321-Uni3-W-Small.png
1998-03-21, 10:50 Local UT+1, 56N 12E Denmark
Unitron 3" D75/FL1200, 1000 Oaks T2 ND5 filter.

 

 

Allan


Edited by AllanDystrup, 13 May 2018 - 02:33 AM.

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#2 AllanDystrup

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 02:17 AM

.

2014

    

     Fast forward to October 2014 at the peak of our current solar cycle 24, featuring the largest sunspot in the past 24 years! -  That was one humongous BF sunspot group, one of a kind. "Those were the days, my friend..."

 

     The observations below were done with an excellent  vintage CZJ Zeiss AS 63mm early "Telementor" refractor using the modern Baader AstroSolar ND5 objective filter.

    

    

AR2014-2192 01.png

2014-10-26 07:50 Local (UT+1) 56N 12E Denmark
68x, Zeiss AS63/840, Baader AstroSolar ND5

        

    

AR2014-2192 02.png

2014-10-28 09:45 Local (UT+1) 56N 12E Denmark
57x, Zeiss AS63/840, Baader AstroSolar ND5

         

    

Allan


Edited by AllanDystrup, 13 May 2018 - 02:41 AM.

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#3 AllanDystrup

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 03:17 AM

.

    
     Here's a small video of two sunspot groups from the very actice fall season of 2014, at the peak of solar cycle 24. 

 

     The observation was done in white light using my small Zeiss Teleminor E50/540 mm air spaced doublet with a Baader Herschel wedge + ND3 + Baader Solar Continuum filter :

    

2014-10-04 Sun.jpg
Video: https://www.youtube....eature=youtu.be

 

2014-10-04 10:40 Local (UT+1), 56N 12E Denmark.
Camera ZWO ASI 120MC

    

   

     And a closeup of the sunspots from the processed video:

        

2014-Sun-CloseUp.jpg

 

 

Allan


Edited by AllanDystrup, 14 May 2018 - 04:07 AM.

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#4 KarlL

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 07:30 AM

Allan -

 

Outstanding presentation!

 

My late father was keenly interested in Solar weather & physics, going back to the early 70s. I think this arose from his being an amateur radio operator (W9WGV) & the consequential concern over radio propagation. It was from he I first learned of the various identified minima we have had. I believe the Maunder Minimum is still the worst minimum we have experienced.

 

We must be careful in attributing weather patterns to the Cycle until we are on the upswing & can look backward.

 

Regards,

 

Karl


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#5 AllanDystrup

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 01:47 AM

Thank you, Karl,

     Yes, the weather is a chaotic system, and hard to estimate the influence of solar cycles, global warming, ozone depletion... not to mention butterflies fluttering in in the forests of Amazonas...

    

    

2015

    

     This was the peak of the peak of solar cycle 24, -- lots of activity throughout the year! Here are some observations through my small classic refractors; -- the first sketch is from March 08 in H-alpha (656nm) with my Lunt 60/50ds, showing a forest of proms all along the limb accompanied by several large filaments on the surface:

    

Sun 2015-03-08.jpg
2015-03-08 35x @ 1.5dg FOV
LS60THaDS50/ B1200CPT
 

     Then follows an observation from March 12. :

 

Sun-2018-03-12.jpg
2015-03-12 (some Newton ring artefacts from the camera spacing...)

LS60THaDS50/ B1200CPT

    

    

     And finally an observation from March 19., plus another one from a month later, on April 20.; Talk about some pretty tight wound up magnetic lines there..

    
Sun-2015-03-19.jpg
2015-03-19

LS60THaDS50/ B1200CPT

 

    

Sun-2015-03-20.jpg
2015-03-20
LS60THaDS50/ B1200CPT

 

 

Allan
 



 


Edited by AllanDystrup, 15 May 2018 - 02:09 AM.

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#6 spereira

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 06:20 PM

Allan,

 

Thank you *very* much for this terrific presentation!

This is excellent information.  And, from your own archives, too.  Wow.

 

smp


Edited by spereira, 15 May 2018 - 06:26 PM.

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#7 AllanDystrup

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 03:28 AM

.

     Still in  2015  at the peak of solar cycle 24; -- some observations done using my small classic Vixen FL80S/640mm refractor:

    

     First one from spring: 3 sunspot groups are seen, preceeded by a nice, large facula network on the western edge,

    

 2015-04-22.jpg
2015-April-22 08:30 UT;  Vixen FL80S/640mm Refractor
UV/IR-cut, LUNT 1.25” Herschel Wedge, Baader ND3 + 540nm SC
*click* image for more detail

    

    

     And then a couple of observations from autumn: the first in white light with my Vixen FL-80S showing a nicely diversified class-F-Dai sunspot group with light bridges, filamentary penumbrae, pores and faculae in the photosphere plasma granulation.
    

     The second in H-alpha with my Lunt 60mm solar scope showing 3 large sunspot areas with ARFs (arch filament systems) surrounded by bright plage systems in the chromosphere; also seen spread over the face of the sun are a number of QRFs (quiet region filaments), the largest hovering over the western limb. I could see 5 bright Ellerman Bombs in the southern-most group. A lot of details to keep you occupied at the eyepiece, back then...!

    

SUN-2015-Autumn.jpg
2015-August/September; Vixen FL80S/640mm Refractor
UV/IR-cut, LUNT 1.25” Herschel Wedge, Baader ND3
*click* image for more detail

 

        

Allan


Edited by AllanDystrup, 16 May 2018 - 05:35 AM.

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#8 AllanDystrup

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 08:01 AM

.

2016

 

 

     Moving on now to 2016 mid-summer, July 18-20. We're starting the slide down from the peak solar activity in 2014/15, towards the current low of 2018/19, -- but there are still several "trains" of medium size active regions rotating across the face of the sun.

    

 

     First an observation from July 18. in white light through my classic cemented C50/540mm Zeiss "Teleminor" refractor with LUNT 1.25” Herschel Wedge, Baader QT-Barlow and BCO orthoscopic eyepieces:
    

        

Sun WhiteLight 160718 -WL-Crop-Ann.png

*click*

    

         

     Then - for comparison - the same group two days later, but this time observed in H-alpha with my vintage Vixen FL-80S/640mm refractor plus a Day Star QUARK Chromo filter:

    

SUN 2016-07-20 10.45UT.jpg
*click*

    

    

    And for yet another comparison, a H-alpha image from a little earlier this year (2016-04-11), with the same setup as above: Vixen FL-80S/640 with QUARK Chromo filter :

    

104137_g4_ap3510_ImPPG_S.jpg

*click*
 

    
Allan

 


Edited by AllanDystrup, 18 May 2018 - 08:17 AM.

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#9 Piggyback

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 02:27 AM

Allan,

 

I miss observing the sun. Day after day just nil, nothing. A featureless, spotless ball hanging in the sky. Very depressing!

 

Thanks for your fantastic review of the past solar cycle. It brought back memories of my own observations. Your exquisite drawings of AR 2192 made me browse my own files. Came up with this iphone piccy I took on my Thousand Oaks filtered Questar 3.5, Oct. 24th, 2014. AR 2192 then was a hulk of a sunspot group. I remember my eyes were glued to the Questar for hours that day. Compare this to the SDO image below. My 3.5" Questar never fails to amaze me.

 

 

 

Sonne im Questar 3,5 Objektivsonnenfilter 24.10.2014b iphone 5s red..jpg

 

 

Sonne SDO-Satellit 24.10.2014 red.jpg


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#10 AllanDystrup

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 06:59 AM

.

    

     Piggyback, -- thanks for sharing your remembrance and image of AR 2192!  Yes, I too was firmly seated on the first row with my telescopes for solar observation back then in October 2014, -- what a show! 

    

 

2017

 

     This is the year I get my small Chameleon monochrome camera, which allows higher resolution with better contrast than my ZWO colour cam. The solar activity has now decreased significantly, but there are still plenty of details to observe in July-August :

 

 

SUN 2017-07-11.jpg
LUNT LS60THa/B1200CPT DS

*click*

 

SUN 2017-08-23.jpg
LUNT LS60THa/B1200CPT DS
*click*

 

Allan


Edited by AllanDystrup, 23 May 2018 - 07:17 AM.

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#11 AllanDystrup

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 07:13 AM

.

 

     In October 2017 the sun is getting more quiet, and you have to search for the interesting spots, proms and chromosphere details; we're fast closing in on solar minimum 2017/18 for solar cycle #24...

 

 

 

SUN 2017-10-08.jpg
*click*

 

SUN 2017-10-09.jpg
*click*

 

Allan


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#12 Aquarellia

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 01:31 PM

Allan,

 

I miss observing the sun. Day after day just nil, nothing. A featureless, spotless ball hanging in the sky. Very depressing!

 

Thanks for your fantastic review of the past solar cycle. It brought back memories of my own observations. Your exquisite drawings of AR 2192 made me browse my own files. Came up with this iphone piccy I took on my Thousand Oaks filtered Questar 3.5, Oct. 24th, 2014. AR 2192 then was a hulk of a sunspot group. I remember my eyes were glued to the Questar for hours that day. Compare this to the SDO image below. My 3.5" Questar never fails to amaze me.

 

 

 

attachicon.gif Sonne im Questar 3,5 Objektivsonnenfilter 24.10.2014b iphone 5s red..jpg

 

 

attachicon.gif Sonne SDO-Satellit 24.10.2014 red.jpg

Hi Stefan, indeed that was a nice astivity for the end of this cycle.

Here for my contribution a sketch from my 2014 archives:

 

20141023_l.jpg

2014 October 23th Local Time Paris, with refractor 102/1000.17:30.

 

PS: Do you know that this year, April 4th, we had the two first spots of the new cycle 25

 

Michel


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#13 Piggyback

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 02:19 AM

Nice sketches of that AR 2192 monster. Thank you, Michel and Allan.

 

This thing was so humongous that I could see it with eclipse goggles.

 

I own a signed copy of the book "Die Häufigkeit der Sonnenflecken" by Wolfgang Gleissberg. He was an astronomy professor at Frankfurt university. Gleissberg was the personal hero of my teenage years. He inspired me to try sketching sunspots. I was using a Kosmos E68 achromat with metal projection screen then. Using  Gleissbergs coordinate grids enabled me to quantify position changes due to the rotation of the sun. Hundreds of sketches later the grids had helped me to derive different rotation periods in dependance of heliographic latitude. Talking a pretty nerdy person then...


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#14 AllanDystrup

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 10:00 AM

.

Solar Cycle 25

March 2020
    

    It’s the end of March 2020, and I’m out in my backyard, observing the sun for the first time since June last year. We have moved from the end of solar cycle 24, and are now at the start of cycle 25. There was not much to observe at the solar disc one year ago (see insert on image below), and frankly there is not a lot more today: no active regions, sun spots or plage-areas, -- only a couple of small quiescent arc proms at the solar limb.

 

SUN 2020-03-26.jpg

*click*
    

     Both observations above were done in Hα using my Lunt 60mm solar scope, the first in single-stack mode and taking a snapshot with my iPhone 5S, the second in double-stack mode shooting a short video with my CM3 industrial cam. The resolution and contrast of the basic chromosphere network is of course significantly better seen in the DS image and also better captured using lucky imaging. But I feel that I’m getting a little rusty in my solar observation, recording and processing due to the many months without any major solar activity. I’m hoping that will start to change in the coming months...

 

     -- Allan


Edited by AllanDystrup, 29 March 2020 - 10:09 AM.

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#15 AllanDystrup

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 01:43 PM

Same as above, but in BW and stepping a little harder on the contrast;

Brings out better the T-Rex prom running up the NE solar limb...

 

SUN2.jpg

    

     -- Allan


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#16 paulsky

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 02:55 PM

Pistonude!! WOW!!

Thanks for sharing this fantastic information..

Paul


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#17 Gray

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 06:59 PM

Most excellent post. I will enjoy reading this at supper time.
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#18 BYoesle

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 07:25 PM

Very nicely done Allan! waytogo.gif


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#19 BeltofOrion

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 07:26 PM

Thank you, Karl,

     Yes, the weather is a chaotic system, and hard to estimate the influence of solar cycles, global warming, ozone depletion... not to mention butterflies fluttering in in the forests of Amazonas...

A very nice presentation ... but I fear you are just a little behind the times if you still refer to 'global warming'. It's fashionable to call it "climate change' now, you know. All those scientists who cooked their data to show global warming had no choice if they still wanted the grant money coming in. And if there's still anyone who believes in global warming ... or climate change for that matter ... I have a challenge to offer. One I've offered to many people over the years. Come here where I live  ... around the last week in October of some year and stay ( if you can stand it) until around the last of May/early June of the next. Not indoors now ... but out dealing with the snowfall and bitter cold just about every day. I can just about guarantee you won't be singing the doom and gloom global warming song then ... or the climate change one either. If you can survive the full seven months without taking off for warmer climes, that is. smile.gif


Edited by BeltofOrion, 29 March 2020 - 07:27 PM.

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#20 BYoesle

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 12:49 PM

All those scientists who cooked their data to show global warming had no choice if they still wanted the grant money coming in. And if there's still anyone who believes in global warming ... or climate change for that matter ... I have a challenge to offer. One I've offered to many people over the years. Come here where I live  ... around the last week in October of some year and stay ( if you can stand it) until around the last of May/early June of the next. Not indoors now ... but out dealing with the snowfall and bitter cold just about every day. I can just about guarantee you won't be singing the doom and gloom global warming song then ... or the climate change one either. If you can survive the full seven months without taking off for warmer climes, that is.

 

Absolutely not interested in moving to Canada until it's as warm as where I grew up in California. Heck, even here in Washington is too cold and cloudy for me.

 

I want to be where I can use my solar telescopes in the warmth of the Sun, not needing blocking filter heaters and warmed thermal underwear coldday.gif .

 

That's why I'm thinking of moving to Australia, where the Australian Government has made an ad about this summer’s fires and it’s surprisingly honest and informative.

 

Solar nirvana awaits in Australia! "The world capitol of Sun-****."

 

 

1280px-Australia-temp-anomaly-1910-2009.svg.png

 

I see Allan lives in Denmark, which while also on the cold/cloudy side, is also one of the happiest places on Earth to live - hmmm decisions, decisions...

 

But we may be getting a bit off-topic. Just want to again say what great drawings and images you've posted here Allan bow.gif .


Edited by BYoesle, 30 March 2020 - 01:21 PM.

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#21 dhkaiser

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 01:31 PM

A very nice presentation ... but I fear you are just a little behind the times if you still refer to 'global warming'. It's fashionable to call it "climate change' now, you know. All those scientists who cooked their data to show global warming had no choice if they still wanted the grant money coming in. And if there's still anyone who believes in global warming ... or climate change for that matter ... I have a challenge to offer. One I've offered to many people over the years. Come here where I live  ... around the last week in October of some year and stay ( if you can stand it) until around the last of May/early June of the next. Not indoors now ... but out dealing with the snowfall and bitter cold just about every day. I can just about guarantee you won't be singing the doom and gloom global warming song then ... or the climate change one either. If you can survive the full seven months without taking off for warmer climes, that is. smile.gif

Actually I think you have it a little mixed up.  Whether you call it global warming or climate change, it is not on a local scale as you measure it.  After all it is global climate that is the concern.  Local variations of warmer and colder do not reflect the overall picture.



#22 AllanDystrup

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Posted 31 March 2020 - 12:56 AM

.

      Guys, -- yes, we're drifting a bit off topic here, and I admit to having ignited the discussion with my initial comment on the climate change in Denmark.

 

     So -- please -- let me hereby close the discussion with this post, as, however important and urgent we may consider the topic, this is not the thread to discuss it.

    

     Bob, -- you have taught me much of what I know about solar Ha-observation and recording, so I'd love to have you close by here in Denmark for further consulting, but if cold and cloudy is a concern, -- nahhh, I'd definitely chose California. But yes, we do have a well functioning flexicurity economic and social society, which is mostly what underpins our high level of happiness. Don't worry...etc.  grin.gif 

 

     -- Thanks, Allan



#23 Aquarellia

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Posted 31 March 2020 - 03:37 AM

Here my last observation : https://www.cloudyni...-25/?p=10079402

 

Michel


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#24 AllanDystrup

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Posted 21 April 2020 - 02:55 AM

.

SC25 - April 2020

    

    

     Still very early in Solar Cycle 25, but we're starting to get some small details on the solar disc. Here's my observation from mid-April 2020 from a clear and calm forenoon in above medium seeing and transparency.

    

     The obs. was done focusing on the NE quadrant with my 60mm LUNT solar scope in DS mode, and the image below was processed from a single recording taken with my CM3 mono machine-cam and SharpCap.

    

     The spicule layer at the limb showed up nicely, with an unusual spectacular triple-arch active prom snaking like a Loch Ness lindworm above the spicular surf. A little further in on the solar disc are seen two filament proms, like a pair of detached dark eyebrows on the face of the sun...

    

SUN 2020-04-20.jpg
*click*

     -- Allan


Edited by AllanDystrup, 21 April 2020 - 04:58 AM.

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#25 descott12

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Posted 21 April 2020 - 07:39 AM

Great stuff!!
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