AR1476 and the seething Sun

Prominences leaping from the limb of the Sun on 11 May 2012. Credit: Will Gater

It was hard to decide where on the Sun to look first yesterday with all the activity that was going on. AR1476 was, of course, taking centre stage but there were also numerous filaments scattered over the disc, while around the limb there were several impressive prominences.

I managed to capture a few pictures of what was going on, but sadly the seeing conditions were poor and so the detail in the images isn’t very good.

The picture above and the first two pictures below were taken with an Imaging Source DMK 21AU618.AS CCD camera (shooting at 60FPS), a 2x Barlow lens and a Coronado PST hydrogen-alpha filtered telescope. The last image was taken with the DMK 21AU618.AS on an ETX90EC OTA fitted with a white-light solar filter.

A large prominence extends above the solar limb. Credit: Will Gater
AR1476 as seen in hydrogen alpha light on 11 May 2012. Credit: Will Gater
AR1476 imaged with a white-light solar filter on 11 May 2012. Credit: Will Gater

A word of warning: never point an unfiltered telescope, unfiltered pair of binoculars etc. at the Sun. You will damage your eyes and almost certainly blind yourself. If you want to observe the Sun only use specialist certified solar filters that have been fitted correctly (and thoroughly checked) and that have been purchased from a reputable astronomical supplier. Be sure to follow any usage instructions carefully. Finderscopes etc. should also be filtered or removed.          

One comment

  1. Hi Will. You might find this picture interesting. A little mockup comparison I have done of AR1476 (12.MAY.2012) and the largest ever recorded sun spot (07.APR.1947). URL: []. Nice posts btw! /Michael

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