Today I tried to capture a transit of the ISS across the disc of the sun, but somehow I missed it, even though I started my series of exposures according to a GPS clock. So the only result I can show is the face of the quiet sun, with only small sunspots littered across. Read More
The sky was beautifully clear today, so I decided to try out the QHY5-II camera on the sun:
Today the sun had some nice sunspots and offered a good opportunity to test the new mount I have on loan from the VAA, my astronomy club.
Most people don’ t realize that the bright spots below a tree in the grass are actually images of the sun formed by small holes created through overlapping leaves in the tree’s branches. Because the sun is a sphere, the images are also circular (depending of the angle of the surface).
A similar situation occurs when the sun shines through the small holes in blinds – round images of the sun are projected against the foor or wall. The images become interesting when the sun’s disk is obscured by something, e.g. the moon during a solar eclipse or trees when the sun is rising or setting on a wooded horizon. Read More
While travelling to the Faroe islands or to Svalbard was out of the question, I was able to take a day off for the solar eclipse of March 20th 2015.
The Vorarlberger Amateur Astronomen (VAA) organized an eclipse observation in cooperation with the Pfänder-Bahn at the summit of the Pfänder mountain above Bregenz. Thanks to Kurt Gattnar, who managed the organization from the VAA side, we had a very enjoyable experience. Even carts for our equipment were available! Read More
A quick image of the sun today:
Today I had the opportunity to see and photograph the giant sunspot Active Region 2192, it already has rotated a bit away from our direction, so the probability of a massive solar storm with possible damage to space and other infrastructure is reduced.
Detail of the image above:
The images were taken with a Nikon D7000 camera using a Astro-Professional ED80 f/7 doublet refractor. A Baader solar filter ND3.8 was used for filtering the sunlight.
Not only the number of sunspots increases during solar maximum, also the location of the sunspots changes. From the beginning of a solar cycle (at the minimum) the location of the sunspots change from higher solar latitudes to lower solar latitudes at maximum. That means that at solar maximum the sunspots tend to group around the solar equator. The new solar cycle would be signified if a sunspot would appear nearer to the north or south solar pole. From the image below one can see that we are experiencing the solar maximum currently.