A bit like a beekeeper


Standard warning for random readers:  it is very dangerous to look directly at the sun, especially through binoculars or telescope – permanent blindness is the likely outcome.  NEVER do this unless you have a solar filter or solar scope bought from an approved astronomy dealer, and have the advice of experienced astronomers.

For best seeing, I put on a broad-brimmed hat with a black shirt thrown over it, to exclude as much circumambient light as possible, thus looking rather like an old-fashioned beekeeper.

Happy hour followed, looking through the Baader solar filter on the 5″ scope (and all manner of eyepieces) at the tremendous swirl of activity currently marking the sun’s southern hemisphere.

It was far too complex to draw – I counted more than forty spotlets within the main complex alone, not counting penumbrae of all shapes and sizes and outlying groups – so I tried to take photos down the eyepiece.  The best visual observing was with a 15mm eyepiece and 2x Barlow, but the best snap was taken with a 20mm eyepiece and neutral density filter in addition to the Baader filter.

By then the atmosphere under the black veil was becoming sultry, to say the least; I retired for some somnolent image processing.

sun full discSunspot groups 1784, 1785, 1787, 1788


2 responses »

    • I’m always amazed at what I can see from the front garden. The spots today are even more spectacular, and I coaxed a couple more photos out of my primitive setup 🙂

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