Sundog Sun!

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.

November First Sunday Solar Observing

Sun Dogs and Prominences – WOW!

Seeing prominences (H-Alpha flares) and sun-dogs (ie not a rainbow but an ice-crystal-bow) on the same day is very California. It’s like skiing and hitting the beach on the same day! I didn’t bother to check the weather for Solar Observing Sunday and that turned out to be a good thing!

It’s California after all and El Sol is cookin’ right now.  Any any chance to see the Sun’s atmospheric layers and its dynamics during this max is time well spent. I have to remind myself that, prior to the H-Alpha Scope, folks traveled the world to catch a ~3 minute total eclipse glimpse at prominences. Needless to say I was the only scope at Houge Park but not the only observer.  We had a couple Parent-kids show up and SJAA members Mikhail, Alena and Chris.

To be frank most of the 1st hour was poor viewing. We did see the current major sunspots groups every so often through the cloud layer and through H-Alpha filter  – which is not the best instrument to observe sunspots.


We then managed to pick out a few nice prominences around the solar disc. But around 2:45 as the cloud layer lifted just a bit more, we got a fantastic Sun-dog show complete with left – right dogs and connecting icebow. Mikhail took a photo of it and here it is:

Click Image To EnlargeMiks-Sundog

You can search Wikipedia for Sun-dogs but here is a nice pic of the effect by Thompson Higher Ed:

Sundog Graphic

Astronomical observer for 20 years and optical engineer. I design non-imaging prism and reflector optics for commercial, medical and high-end retail lighting.

Posted in Blog, Solar

3 comments on “Sundog Sun!
  1. Jay Freeman says:

    I saw a very similar display about an hour before sunset on Saturday 2 November, from the Amtrak train “Coast Starlight”, between Paso Robles and Salinas. It was interesting to watch the apparition vary as the train moved nortward and the details of the clouds between me and the Sun changed.

  2. Sukhada says:

    This was fantastic! Thanks, Michael for setting it up.