2011 03 08 Solar H-alpha

2011 03 08, 1703 UT – 1945 UT

Solar h-alpha, NOAAs 11164, 11165, 11166, 11169, prominence sequence 240 pa

PCW Memorial Observatory, Zanesville, Ohio USA – Erika Rix
Temp: 16.8°C, Humidity 34%, SE winds 8mph
Seeing: Wilson 3.5 w/moments of 1, Transparency: 1-2/6
Alt: 44.5°- 36.4°, Az: 168.1°- 221.1°

DS 60mm Maxscope, LXD75, 21-7mm Zhumell

H-alpha sketch created scopeside with black Strathmore Artagain paper, white Conte’ crayon and pencil, Derwent charcoal pencil, black oil pencil.

It was a nice surprise to see the Sun out and the thin clouds scattered enough for a solar session, especially with 4 active regions present. I didn’t pull out a white light filter. It certainly would have made a great comparison to the h-alpha views with all the sunspots scattered about. The fibrils in NOAA 11166 were outstanding and plentiful, reaching out through plage in wide arcs. 11164 looked etched near the limb with stark contrast between the filaments and plage.

It was 11165 that kept most of my attention today with its area of prominence changing so rapidly that I’m fairly certain portions of it erupted and then collapsed on itself. Two times sections had broken free and floated off. During those times, a sketch was completed every 5-10 minutes.

On the Spaceweather website today, it reported:

FAST CORONAL MASS EJECTION: A coronal mass ejection (CME) exploded from the vicinity of sunspot 1164 during the late hours of March 7th. It lept away from the sun traveling some 2200 km/s, making it the fastest CME since Sept. 2005. A movie of the cloud prepared by Karl Battams of the Naval Research Lab seems to show a small but non-negligible Earth-directed component. This CME and at least one other could brush against Earth’s magnetic field on March 9th or 10th. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.

I would have liked to have stayed out for at least a few more hours, but the transparency became too horrendous to pull detail out of the prominences and full overcast skies was soon to follow.

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~ by Erika Rix on March 8, 2011.

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