Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Modest Sunspot

Erupting Prominence

I recently enjoyed my first solar imaging session since July, 2016. Hardly any major sunspots or filaments had appeared for 7 months. When a modest sunspot group rotated into view near the eastern limb on February 20th, it was time to return to the activity I love. Conditions were comfortable with nearly cloudless skies, temperature in the low 60's, and a slight breeze. I worried about forgetting steps in the imaging routine, but, even after 7 months away, I had no trouble setting up equipment and capturing video clips.

The first image below is a 3-panel mosaic showing modest sunspot group 2638 left of center and a large prominence which happened to be in the midst of a dramatic eruption. Not long after this image was made the prominence had lifted off into space leaving no trace behind.
Seeing was not particularly good this day. Aside from the one modest sunspot, there were hardly any remarkable features present on the solar disc. One active area, 2636, near disc center looked like this.
I captured 21 video clips from locations around the solar rim. Below is an imperfect 21-panel mosaic showing a number of prominences scattered around the limb. (Click on the images for larger views.)
It was good to use the solar telescope again after so many idle months. 

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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