Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Another return?

A small spot or two now logged by SDO at the Sun's eastern limb: latitude and longitude suggest that something of AR12192/12209 is returning from 'farside' transit. "helio" freeware has the limb longitude as ~242, as Dec. 10 UT comes to a close. That's where the huge violet 'following' (f) spot of AR12192 was sited, back in October. Are we to see a third rotation of this active region?
     Heavy cloud and daily thunderstorms making Sun-watching impossible here in the Illawarra region.
     Note vast coronal loops at the site in SDO EUV images on solarsoft:

Thursday, 13 November 2014

I'm back! AR12209.

Two views of the 'returnee' -old AR12192 - courtesy of the SDO satellite.  'Helio' freeware showed the limb longitude is 238 deg. and all the major spots of the group are now visible  in the 4"Mak, X80. But much reduced. A very rough 'Helio' area was between 400 and 800 units. It will look more impressive in coming days. Consider the magnetic complexity of the lower image!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

AR12192 X3 flare Oct24

This complex spot group had six GOES class-X flares - this X3.1 was the strongest on Oct 24. The blue outline X-X' and Y-Y' is from SDO HMI magnetogram -  it suggests the inversion line between opposite polarities within the group. Notice the small cluster of 'red' spots within the dominant 'violet' spot - and how the inversion line winds around them! The peak of this flare (X3.1) was missed - here we see it ~40m later: X1.1. Perhaps the flare arose along the N and W sides of line Y-Y', as the brightest ribbon spread well to the S of the group. Rumor suggests there were no CME's from this group? Yet the disruption of coronal fields and the ejection of a filament (i.e. mass) precedes all flares? Doesn't it?

AR12192 Returns?

Judging by these coronal streamers above the 12192 site - just behind the limb Nov 11UT- 'something' of the Giant spot has survived. Grown even larger, perhaps?

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Giant! AR12192

According to Janssens' this is the 12th largest sunspot group since records began in 1874! He's got the data to prove it. It is a bafflingly complex group - note the inversion line between opposite polarities (blue line) -(c) SDO Satellite. Why did it grow so big? Back in Sept. 2014 it probably began as AR12172 - but late in that month the already large group was joined by myriad small new spots covering a wide area, Shaken and stirred during its far-side transit - and THIS is what returned: AR12192! An amazing group. It will return to the east limb about November 12th. Stay posted!

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Long-lived filament!

First noted on 2014 Jul31 (Fig LHS) a northern filament tracked across the disc (shaded grey, 6 logs) until it reached the western limb, becoming a fine prominence on Aug 10. Out of sight for two weeks it apparently survived far-side transit, to reappear as a larger prominence at the east limb on Aug24.
        It now began a second transit (dotted red), having it seems migrated a few degrees northward -but otherwise at the same longitude. This transit ended in a slow ejection on Sep 2, during my night time. The two dotted outlines are data from the GONG network. Did the filament channel survive the ejection? Wait and see.

Friday, 22 August 2014

An odd return

As suspected, AR12109 returned to the east limb in early August: well -sort of! Only the big red (p) spot survived.  Together with some new siblings, it formed a UNI-POLAR spot group: that is, they were all 'red' polarity spots. Soon some tiny spots of opposite 'sign' joined the 'red brigade'! The one 'survivor' from old 12109 now found itself in following (f) position. A bit like human politics, really! This odd group did not produce any big flares - but was an intriguing anomaly.
The dotted line shows the minor of proper motions of the 'old red giant' (p) spot from 12109, now part of AR12130. 

Saturday, 19 July 2014

AR12109: Gentle giant!

Four logs of a 'giant' spot group - with, at times, mixed polarities in a Delta configuration. And yet, no flares greater than GOES type C? Note the strong umbral fields in the big preceding spot: 2600G on the tenth. The C4 on the fifth was very 'pretty' - but nothing stronger? Its area reached 800 units - Earth is shown for scale. Watch for this site at the east limb around August first for a possible return performance.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Timely reminder!

A recent view of the prime spectrum of ETA CARINAE (2014 Mar 31) showed the bright red line of H-alpha was still strong. No sign of the predicted fading, yet. However the H-beta line was hard to see in the 8" scope: perhaps H-beta begins to fade ahead of the red line? Revisit the 2013 May entry in this BLOG for background on this predicted 'vanishing' of the emission features: due mid-2014. All that is needed is a diffraction grating and a scope 8" or bigger - or a photographic setup, of course. Good Luck!
STOP PRESS: Viewed on July 2 in C8 BOTH emission bands were clearly visible. H-beta was bright enough to show well in the broadened spectrum. H-alpha seemed its usual brightness.
LATEST: Both bands still clearly visible 2014 August 5th. No change yet!

Saturday, 21 June 2014


The southern regions of the Moon are fascinating to explore. Favourable libration can give an 'astronauts-eye' view of the site, revealing majestic terrain. Newton lies at 75 degrees south: a complex mix of multiple crater impacts. Z to Z1 is the rim of an ancient impact that contains the many overlapping Newton craters. More work is needed to sort-out the complexities of interlocking rims and collapse formations. Moretus, by contrast, stands in majestic isolation - a text-book crater with a range of terraces and slippage features on its inner walls. Sunrise lighting enhanced the scene. 

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Best wishes Mike for a speedy recovery - from all your Friends in Sydney amateur astronomy.


Saturday, 17 May 2014

Solar Vista...

A superb solar vista as three active regions round the limb in unison, while a tall prominence looms above. Though AR12055 looked the more active, 12056 had stronger flares.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Multi-sun System

Sometimes it's nice to view 'multi-sun' systems. This sketch was made with the small Mak and the PA's are estimates:  a breathtaking example of such a system! I could see no colour differences. Somehow I had not seen Beta Mon in the past. A real triple, it was a great Christmas 'present'.

Monday, 6 January 2014

AR11944 - Twister

Sunspots are surprising - this giant of its kind rounded the east limb 2014 Jan 1 - and after a day of cloud, was revealed on the 3rd as an immensely complex entity. Combined here are white light, H-alpha and polarity observations, the latter (c) Regents of Univ.of California, Mt Wilson. The group's area was huge at 1400 units and a longitude length of  15 degrees. A remarkable number of spiral filaments emerged from the dominant spot - some were surges that showed ejecta in motion from time to time. Amazing! - and the group had only been on the disc three days. What next?