Wednesday, October 21, 2015

October Clear Spell

Bad Seeing

Very often an extended stretch of clear skies happens during October. This year hardly any clouds appeared between October 18th and October 21st. On the 18th, the first clear day, I made a special effort to use my solar telescope since it had been more than a month since my last observing session. It was a cool 50 degrees and breezy. Seeing conditions were forecast to be poor, and the forecast was correct. Solar features were a blurry, jittery mess. Nevertheless, I captured enough videos to construct the following 29-panel imperfect mosaic which shows a modest array of solar features.
Sunspot pair 2436 is on the left near the limb. Sunspot 2434 is below center. One large prominence is on the lower left rim, and a few filaments are scattered about. The mosaic posted here has been reduced to one quarter size from the original. If you click on the image and examine it closely, you will see some blurry areas which were captured when the seeing was particularly bad.

Prominent sunspot 2434 was surrounded by some nice filaments shown in the next image made with a 5X Barlow lens.
Details in the previous image are not as sharp as they could be, but, considering how turbulent the air was, the image is not bad.

Only 40 minutes after I started capturing videos some fair weather clouds began drifting by. The seeing was so poor that I decided to end the session and hope for steadier viewing the next day. The next day actually did turn out much better as you will see in my next post.  

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People say I'm crazy doing what I'm doing
Well they give me all kinds of warnings to save me from ruin
When I say that I'm o.k. well they look at me kind of strange
Surely you're not happy now you no longer play the game

People say I'm lazy dreaming my life away
Well they give me all kinds of advice designed to enlighten me
When I tell them that I'm doing fine watching shadows on the wall
Don't you miss the big time boy you're no longer on the ball

I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round
I really love to watch them roll
No longer riding on the merry-go-round
I just had to let it go

John Lennon