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Tuesday, April 19th, 2011
My First Sun Sketch
 
Today I took a brief look at the sun, it was loaded! I haven't seen this much activity in a long time. Possibly even ever as long as I've been doing solar viewing (for about 5 years now).
 
The instrument was a Coronado PST 40mm H-alpha solar scope with a 12mm Nagler Type 4 eyepiece.
 
I saw 5 spots in a fairly large grouping, loads of filaments (not sure what they are called a the moment) both dark ones and light ones and various sizes and brightnesses of prominences peppered around the entire edge.
 
While I looked at it, I wanted to take a picture, but just didn't have the time to set everything up, so I grabbed a piece of paper and did my best to sketch it.
 
I have to admit, sketching it was incredible. I made me look even closer and pay a lot of attention to what I was seeing. It definitely makes me want to do sketching again. I'll have to go to the Cloudy Nights sketching forum and see how others are doing it because mine doesn't do justice to what I was observing.
 
Sketch in the gallery.
 
ADDENDUM: I grabbed the Mauna Loa ACOS Ha Limb and the Big Bear Full Disk Ha and blended them in Photoshop as a reference to what I sketched. It's not a perfect reference as the limb and disk shots were not taken at the same time and neither were taken as the same time as I was sketching, but most of what I was seeing is there. The limb of course is what changed the most as well as the rotation and of the surface detail. My observation was clearly later then both of these because the lower large prominence had grown quite a bit and the surface detail had moved with the sun's rotation. North in these images is to the left at 9:00. This reference image is also in the gallery.


Image Gallery For This Session
01 sun sketch 2011 04 19 02 sun sketch reference
   

01-sun-sketch-2011-04-19.jpg
Click picture above for larger version
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Comments:
On 04/21/11 at 03:35pm Neil Heacock wrote:
@Barry: Thanks Barr. I've looked at some sketches and wowzers! People get serious about sketching. It was really fun though. I'll definitely do it again.

@West: As you know, Sun = danger. But what you may not know is that the full aperture filter you are referring to is a "white light" filter that will let you see Sun spots only. In order to see the filaments and flames an actual H-Alpha solar scope (mine is the bottom of the barrel Coronado PST at about $500) is required or a special filter set for refractors (which start at about $1500) or a *very* special filter for Newtonians (which start at about $3500). The price is high which is why I opted for the cheapest one that will still give me the view I want. I'm thinking about getting the 60mm Lundt (second to the cheapest) which has dropped in price to just over $1000. I've looked through them and they are remarkable considering the high cost of <.7 angstrom Solar H-Alpha scopes.

Oh, and yeah, don't put the variable filter on there, it would only crack at the concentrated energy of taking 10" of aperture and making a focal point out of it. Think a magnifying glass, the sun and burning holes in paper and then make it 1000 times more powerful with 10" of aperture.

The *very* special Newtonian filters absorb all of that energy so you can stick your eye up to it. A Newtonian with a DayStar .3 angstrom filter produces an unbelievable view... for only $9000!

-Neil

On 04/21/11 at 01:03pm West wrote:
I was thinking of grabbing the solar filter for my telescope, but it's around 100 bucks so I've held off.

Makes me wonder though.... I KNOW it's ill-advised to use any other kind of filter OTHER than the full aperture filter while sun viewing.... but i wonder if i could use my variable filter turned ALL the way up and then throw my usb camera on it.... probably just burn out the camera lens AND the filter, lol..... maybe i'll pass. =)

On 04/19/11 at 04:03pm Barry wrote:
Hey, you are an artist. Nothing wrong with this sketch!!! Well done!!!



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