2012 05 06 – Prominences and Filaments

2012 05 06, 1930 UT – 2100 UT
Prominences and filaments

PCW Memorial Observatory, Texas – Erika Rix
Temp: 32°C, winds SSW 9 mph, lightly scattered
Seeing: Wilson 4, Transparency: 3/6, 50-100x
Maxscope DS 60mm H-alpha, LXD75, Baader Planetarium Hyperion 8-24mm Mark III, 2x Barlow

After a scan of the full solar disk, I noticed brightened, condensed prominences to both the western and eastern limb. These sometimes indicate an erupting prominence or if you’re very lucky, a solar flare. The western prominence seemed to be making faster changes. By the time I gathered my sketching gear, I was only able to catch three quick sketches before it fizzled out.


A huge chain of filament to the southern hemisphere was too tempting to pass up for a sketch, which I failed miserably in my attempt to do it justice. Still, my primary reason for sketching at the eyepiece is to study the object in depth, which I feel I succeeded at despite the poor rendering. What first appears as a chunky, cloudy layer of plasma shows quite an intricate network of filament with patience and increased magnification. I also had my shade cloth over my head at 100x magnification. The etalons were tuned to bring out the most contrast for that type of feature.

NOAA 11471 was very crisp and a filament wrapped around it, comma-shaped, similar to the paired active regions of 10940 and 10941 in Feb 2007. (shown below)

2007 Feb 04 – ARs 941 and 940

NOAA 11476 also put on quite the show with plage scattered abundantly and the sunspots centered in the middle. The brightened prominence that I noticed at the beginning of the session had morphed into a beautiful display reaching to the south. It changed quickly and my hastened sketch of it took place over 3-5 minutes, ending at 2050 UT. As tempted as I was to do grab a couple more quick sketches of it, it had become much fainter and I was in need of a break from the heat.

Sketches created scope-side with black Strathmore Artagain paper, white Conte’ crayon and pencil, Derwent charcoal pencil, black oil pencil.


~ by Erika Rix on May 6, 2012.

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