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