Dancing on the Solar Limb

Dancing on the Solar Limb

Solar prominences on August 31st, 2009
Sketches and Details by Erika Rix

2009 August 31, 1454UT – 1625UT
Solar h-alpha prominences

PCW Memorial Observatory, Zanesville, Ohio USA
Erika Rix

DS 60mm Maxscope, LXD75, 21-7mm Zhumell
Sketches created scopeside with black Strathmore Artagain paper, white
Conte’ crayon and pencil, white Prang watercolor pencil.

Temp: 23.0°C-25.0°C , Humidity 52%-38%
Seeing: Wilson 4 dropping down to 2, Transparency: 4.5/6-3/6
Clear to scattered, light winds E changing to NE
Alt: 43.7 – 55.6, Az: 122.5 – 152.5
Observed inside observatory. Seeing became very poor as the inside
warmed up.

There looked like a possible new active region forming by bright plage ~
30° in from the eastern limb. There were several prominences scattered
around the disk, and the largest areas were on the SE and SW limbs,
changing dramatically over the course of the 1.5 hr observation.

7 thoughts on “Dancing on the Solar Limb”

  1. Erika —

    Lovely presentation (as always)!

    Have the bushes in front of the obs helped the seeing any, or do you think it’s all rising from the floor inside?

    — Jeff.

  2. Thank you for the kind comments everyone. It’s always such a pleasure viewing everyone’s excellent sketches and reading the reports that go with them.

    Marek, yesterday there was indeed an active region forming in that area, AR1025. The detail in the spots themselves are easier to see with a white filter, which I didn’t set up another scope for white light views yesterday. However, there was a very obvious plage in h-alpha where the active region was and if you’d like to see some excellent images of this active region and the few spots that were in it, please feel free to visit the solar forum on Cloudy Nights where some of us gather to share our observations. http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/postlist.php/Cat/0/Board/solar Other websites such as Spaceweather and SOHO keep us abreast of the current activity as well.

    Jeff, I believe the shrubs do help, but they need to fill in just a little more. Thanks for the idea! I put a thin carpet in my section of the observatory that also helps a little. But to tell you the truth, the inside of the wood observatory (roll off roof that I usually only roll off a few feet to keep it shady in there during the daytime while viewing) is like a being in a little oven during the daytime with the Sun shining into it. I get much better solar views when I drag my gear outside of the observatory into the grass. The pros about using our observatory in the daytime is shelter from the wind and is especially nice in the freezing temps of the winter. What I should do is build a nice pier outside for my Maxscope like what you’ve done!

  3. Erika,

    I’m glad to see you got the opportunity to record a little activity on our hibernating Daystar. I never cease to admire your ability to render the delicate appearance of the millions of tons of plasma suspended above the solar limb by magnetic field lines.


  4. Michael, thank you very much for your kind words and also for helping me all these past several years learning both the night and the day skies.

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