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.
BIG SUN, HUGE SUNSPOT AND ONE CLOUD BLANKET
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!! !! !!
CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE
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.
**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: http://www.sjaa.net/wp-sjaa-content/uploads/2015-Comet-Lovejoy.jpg
The SDIC is located at the Solar Physics Research Department at the Royal Observatory of Belgium.