Monthly Archives: January 2015

SJAA 3rd Year Solar Party

Observe The Sun Safely! Never look at the Sun without a proper filter!
Solar Programs are held 1st Sunday of every Month 2:00-4:00 PM at Houge Park weather permitting.
SJAA’s 3rd Year Solar Anniversary A Big Hit

Today with a Sunspot Count of 193 (NOAA) and one huge massive H-Alpha flare, SJAA shared some stellar views with the public along the Los Gatos Creek Trail at Campbell Park.  



 Above Left Today’s Sunspots and Active Regions And Above Right Malika Carter Setting Up Her Eyepiece Projection System

003-3dyear-solarJustin Gallegos stopped by and snapped this iphone 4s image of today’s massive H-Alpha Flare. Thanks for sending our way! And below are more pics of today’s event. All in all, we had about 60 folks stop by.

004-3dyear-solarAbove Bill at Clubs H-Alpha

009-3dyear-solarKevin Lahey explaining the twisting of solar magnetic field at is 12″ Dob. A lot of bikers put the breaks on to take a view.

008-3dyear-solarMark McCarthy’s scope was a big hit

005-3dyear-solarVeteran SJAA member and solar observer Terry Kahl at her grab and go Coronado H-Alpha. This scope revolutionized Solar Observing from an obscure hobby to popular astronomy

006-3dyear-solarWolf Witt explaining Solar Fusion. He brought out a 100mm Lunt H-Alpha.

007-3dyear-solarBill O’Neil with a Mother And Daughter who stopped by.

010-3dyear-solarSolar Chair 3 Years Running Michael Packer

It is hard to believe SJAA and I have done Solar Astronomy for 3 Years. Every type of H-Alpha Flair observed – even ones yet classified, along with the biggest sunspot in 24 years, a transit of Venus no soul will see again in their lifetime and a rare California Anular Eclipse. We have a Transit Of Mercury to Look forward to along with a Partial Eclipse which is a Total Eclipse of the Sun from Oregon to South Carolina.

Mag -26.74






Posted in Articles

Send us your pics! Comet LOVEJOY

Send Pics of Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) To
mDOTpackerATyahooDOTcom – We’ll Post Below


Isaak Cruz, Canon T5i 16/30s images on Astrotrac Mount, 200mm f/2.8


Ricky Pan, Cupertino, Olympus OM-D E-M5 60s ISO 800 221mm f/6.3


Marilyn Perry, Sunnyvale, Tue 01/0615 9:20PM, Canon T3i, 8s ISO 800 200mm f/3.2.



Michael Packer, Los Gatos, Wed 01/07/15, Nikon D300s 4s ISO 2500 480mm f/6.3

With a pair a binoculars look for Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy). Folks with good skies can just make it out naked eye.  In binoculars some folks have said it looks like greenish cotton ball. See below for its path in the sky:



Posted in Anouncements, Articles, Blog

First Sunday Jan 4th Solar

Observe The Sun Safely! Never look at the Sun without a proper filter!
Solar Programs are held 1st Sunday of every Month 2:00-4:00 PM at Houge Park weather permitting.
Today January 4, 2015 at 6:36 UTC (04:36 a.m. PST) the Earth was at perihelion, closest to the sun!** Also on this day a sunspot, AR2253, equal in width to the diameter of Jupiter was about smack in the middle for prime-time viewing!! But, alas, a blanket of clouds covered the sky made for a sparse viewing of this celestial culmination of events. Eh – not quite magical. In fact we did not pull out the club’s H-Alpha, though Michael P. had his duel refactor set up, one side a H-Alpha 80, and Carl R. and Bill O had their SCTs. We, and about 10 visitors, did get to see the sunspots, all 78 of them (SIDC)*** and prominences but we had a few problems along the way aside from the clouds. Michael in his zeal to show Carl where he screws on his continuum green filter, screwed up is duel scope alignment. He’s lucky he didn’t loose a binoviewer to the effects of gravity at the scopes’ flip downward. And then Terry K. arrived. Now she correctly decided to not to bother pulling out her scopes but it wasn’t like she had a choice. Her trunk decided to lock along with her car keys inside. Nothing AAA could not handle in under 5 minutes. So even if first Sunday’s show was not entirely skyward we had enough entertainment here on Earth at Houge Park. Here are some pics of the day. And if you have time – Check out Sunspot 2253!! !! !!
Michael Checking out Sunspot with Solar Glasses. The Sun was not bright enough through clouds for 2253 to pop. Look for this behemoth Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday if you got solar glasses and a patch of clear sky.
2015Jan3rd-MichaelBelow Carl and Bill shooting the breeze.
2015Jan3rd-Carl-BillBelow Bill and Wolf – not shooting the breeze at the moment.  2015Jan3rd-Bill-Wolf
**The word perihelion is has Greek roots: peri meaning near and helios meaning sun.
*** SDIC is Solar Influences Data analysis Center.  SDIC is the keeper of the International Sunspot Number. If you write in the comments where the SDIC resides, 1st commenter get a pair of solar glasses free.
****Look for Comet Lovejoy over the couple weeks! Big Hint: Use binoculars and this link:
Posted in Blog, Solar