Sunday, November 29, 2015

Thanksgiving Sunspot Parade

Modest Sunspots

By 10 am on November 26th, Thanksgiving day, the temperature was 52 degrees. Thin clouds had completely cleared. There was no wind. It was an amazing mild day for late November, warm enough to sit without a jacket at my telescope.

The following 24-panel mosaic shows most of the solar features on display this balmy morning. A large prominence floated above the limb on the right. Three modest sunspots were on parade along a diagonal line across the disc. Two filaments were on the right. Seeing was not particularly good while capturing images for this mosaic. Consequently, some component parts are a little blurry.
The previous mosaic was constructed by stacking the best 40 frames from individual 400-frame video clips. Seeing improved a bit while the next mosaic was captured. Next below is a 10-panel mosaic with each panel made by stacking the best 100 frames from individual 1,000-frame video clips. The three sunspots are sharper here. (Click on the images for a larger view.)
Seeing kept improving, so I tried capturing 2,000-frame videos to make the next 4-panel mosaic spanning only the three sunspots. I stacked the best 100 images from the 2,000 frame videos. From left to right the sunspots are numbers 2459, 2458, and 2457. The detail is really good in this image! (Click on the image for a larger view.)
Some nice prominences and spicules on the Sun's western limb are shown in this 9-panel mosaic.
Next is a closeup view of sunspot 2458.
Finally, a close view of sunspot 2457.
The temperature rose to 56 degrees as the Sun approached the meridian. Unfortunately, seeing kept getting worse after the brief excellent spell. I quit before noon. It was a pleasant surprise to get these images on Thanksgiving.

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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