Monday, July 10, 2017

Double Feature!

Prominence and Sunspot

An enormous prominence was suspended above the Sun's eastern limb on July 8th. Nearby was a growing active sunspot. The sky, rarely clear during July, was cloudless, so I seized the opportunity to image these dramatic features. Only brief puffs of gentle breeze gave any relief from the heat with temperature at 85 degrees while I worked.

The first image below is a 14-panel mosaic made with a 5X Barlow lens. It shows the Sun's eastern side with sunspot 2665 and several prominences along the limb. (Click on the image for a more detailed view.)
The next image is a closer view of the largest prominence and sunspot 2665. White energetic emissions erupt in the middle of the sunspot group. The giant prominence is several Earth diameters high.
It's hard to work comfortably in humid July heat. My shirt was soaked with perspiration after only 35 minutes. More than three months have passed since the last time I used my solar telescope. It may be months again until conditions are right for another solar imaging session.

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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