2010 03 18 – Large Prominence, NOAAs 11054 & 11056

Every once in awhile someone will say to me with regard to solar observing, “I just don’t get the fascination.” If only they could look into a narrowband solar filter to witness a breath-taking prominence such as the one above, no words would be needed to explain why so many people invest the money in equipment to view just one star. And then when the desire to understand the Sun hits you…well, it opens Pandora’s Box and there’s no turning back.

Past report from March 2010.

2010 March 18
Solar h-alpha, Active regions 1054, 1056

PCW Memorial Observatory, Zanesville, Ohio USA – Erika Rix

DS 60mm Maxscope, LXD75, 21-7mm Zhumell
H-alpha sketch created scope-side with black Canson paper, white Conte’ crayon and pencil, white Prang watercolor pencil, Derwent charcoal pencil, black oil pencil.

Here’re the sketches from today. I spent the good part of four hours out there between h-alpha and white light observations. It sure felt terrific to kick off my shoes and just soak up the Sun. Paul, my husband who normally only images the night skies, even set up his imaging gear for a session on my Maxscope when I was finished with it.

The two active regions were pretty obvious with the plage in the NW and NE quadrants in h-alpha. In white light, I could only see evidence of facula and a spot (or two looking like they were merged together) in the NW region, which would have been AR 1054.

I didn’t blend the full disk sketch very well this time but by the time I realized it, I had already added features over the background and couldn’t fix it. Because of that, some of the features are lost a bit with all the “noise”.

That huge prom was an absolute beauty and I could have spent the entire day sketching it over and over for an animation. As it was, it nearly was so complex that a person could spend too much time on one sketch and end up chasing the changes and never actually complete the sketch.

The filaments were in abundance too.

Note that view for the full disk sketch is 180 degrees rotated from the prominence sketch. The large prominence at the bottom of the full disk sketch is the same prominence as the close-up prominence, sketched 2 hours later and viewed at a different angle from the eyepiece.


~ by Erika Rix on March 18, 2010.

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