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First solar observation

Observing Observing Report Solar
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#1 lxeth

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 02:39 AM

I wanted to try out my Vixen "Sun prism" (Vixen's old Herschel wedge). I got this with as one of the accessories that came with a scope I picked up on auction a couple of month's ago.

 

I was using my vintage Vixen 60mm f15 on a Polaris mount. I had some difficulty lining up on the sun - don't have a finder for this - but finally able to use my red dot finder shining on the palm of hand, and this got me close enough!

 

The wedge takes .965 eyepieces, and my first views were with a HM20mm (giving me 46 power). This nicely framed the sun in the eyepiece and gave me a nice overall view. At first, all I could see was a green orb, but after a bit, I was able to pick out one small area of sunspot activity. It looked like a small cross or "X" with a faint tail (made up of two more spots). (Checking later online, I confirmed that this was sunspot region 2846).

 

I varied eyepieces to try to get a clearer view of the spots, using an HM 12.5mm and HM 8mm. The 12.5 (x73) showed some more structure - the cross or "X" seemed to resolve into several spots: 1 large grouping in the middle, which appeared to be made up of two or three spots, and three smaller spots surrounding this group below (if the large group was on a line pointing to about 12 o'clock, the three smaller spots were at about the 3, 7 and 9 o'clock points on the clock face). The HM8 didn't provide a better view - the seeing just wouldn't take over 100 power.

 

I had heard that kellners can provide some good views of the sun, so I got out a 25, 20 and 10mm kellner, and tried each in turn. The 25mm provided a little more space around the sun, but the 20mm kellner gave a much better view. When I switched back and forth between this EP and the HM20mm, and found that the views in the kellner were just a bit sharper - showing a little more of the structure of the sunspots, and with sharper edges on the disc of the sun.

 

The 10mm kellner gave some very nice views as well. It seemed to be at the limits of the seeing, but when it was clear it seemed to show some really nice detail on the sunspot. I think I saw a total of 8 separate spots: 1,2,3) the large group I mentioned before was clearly made up of three spots - two small ones above a larger one, and with a slight arc to the three; 4,5) two medium sized spots in at the 3 and 9 o'clock points relative to this larger spot; 6) a slightly smaller dimmer spot, below between the 6 and 7 positions; and 7, 8) the two dimmer spots tailing off to the left.

 

It was a fun observation session - though it was quite hot and a little sweaty as well!

 

Finally, I have to say the most unusual thing about the session was seeing a whole bunch of high-flying dragonflies flitting through the eyepiece!


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#2 lorenzo italy

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 03:35 AM

Nice report on solar observation.
Even with a small instrument, many details can be observed.
Compliments.

 

Lorenzo


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#3 lxeth

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 07:18 AM

Thanks Lorenzo! It was a new experience for me, and I'm looking forward to the next opportunity! I think I'll try out my 80mm f5 as well.


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