Mega Sunspot – Mega Flares – May 12 2012

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

Special thanks goes to SJAA member Patricia Madison for setting up this solar event as part of Don Edwards S. F. Bay National Wildlife Refuge “Birdfest”. She had a neat “make a sundial” booth (see below pic) for kids set up and often holds star parties at the park as well at Lick Observatory.

Sun ClockHandheld Sundial (thanks Dalana Castrell)

Today – SJAA setup its scope at the Don Edwards Nature Center to help celebrate Birdfest. We are at the peak of migratory bird season across US and certainly nearing the peak of solar activity. Sunspot 1476 was an easy naked eye object – mammoth sunspot group in a 6 inch scope. But holy mackerel the plasma stream from 1471 was stellar (thanks Malika for info on this flare – 7.5 times the size of Earth).

Image of  both Sunspots from 3 days ago.

“Wow” was the word of the day from the families that looked through the scope. One kid was so jazzed by the sun he asked at the face painting booth to have all the planets put on face:

Painted face boy

Later in the day a prominence from a sunspot that will be in view tomorrow was spectacular – looking like a miniaturized aurora or curtain on the sun’s horizon. All in all a truly a stellar day. 

  Viewing Sun

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