Aeromoe's Version of Joe Orman's Naked-Eye 100 List
Number 3: Sunspots
Thinking about saving this one for last in case I screw it up and mess up my eyesight. Wouldn't want to jeopardize seeing that total solar eclipse in 2017!
Actually, I viewed my first naked-eye sunspot on January 8, 2014. I'd just read Mike Weasner's blog entry for yesterday and found out there was a sunspot large enough to view naked eye. I grabbed my Orion Solar Filter
and stepped outside and held it up to the sun. Bingo. This sunspot is quite large and immmediately viewable. I thought it was so cool I went over to my daughter's place and shared it with her too during her lunch
hour. She thought it was pretty cool and commented that the string of sunspots resembled the Hawaiian Islands. I also set up my spotting scope and carefully held the filter in front of it so we could see the sun with some magnification before she had to go back to work.
When I came home I set up my Orion 120ST telescope, did a quick and dirty polar alignment, and slewed to Mercury to get me in the vicinity of the sun. It took just a couple moments more to find the sun in the
38mm eyepiece (15x). I tried a couple different methods to photograph the solar disc: Afocal with my cellphone and prime focus with just the DSLR and with the 2.5x Powermate. I then put the solar filter on the
new jig I built and used my Canon SX50 to take some images of the sun directly through the filter. Below are a few images:
Approximate apparent size of sun when viewed naked eye through Orion Solar Filter. Sunspot AR1944 is easily visible as the dark spot just lower right of center.
This photo taken through Orion 120ST+Canon 60D. 8 Jan 2014 1416hrs MST / 2116hrs UT.
Canon 60D through the Orion 120ST. 8 Jan 2014 1416hrs MST / 2116hrs UT. (Sun orientation adjusted to somewhat approximate the naked-eye view)
Canon SX50 directly through the Orion Solar Filter. 8 Jan 2014 / 1603hrs MST / 2303hrs UT.
Canon SX50 directly through the Orion Solar Filter. You can see how the rotation of the sun has carried the large sunspot group towards the right edge of the sun compared to the previous photo.
Some high clouds were present, hence the discoloration of the lower sun and area surrounding the sun. 9 Jan 2014 / 1501hrs MST / 2201hrs UT.
Canon SX50 directly through the Orion Solar Filter. This is shortly after sunrise and with proper orientation. Rotation of the sun continues to carry sunspot AR1944 towards the limb.
10 Jan 2014 / 0802hrs MST / 1501hrs UT.
Canon SX50 directly through the Orion Solar Filter. This is a bit before sunset and with proper orientation. Rotation of the sun continues to carry sunspot AR1944 towards the limb, and the path of the sun through the sky has changed the apparent location
of surface features, just like when the moon rises and sets.
10 Jan 2014 / 1728hrs MST / 0028hrs UT.
23 Oct 2014. Active Region AR2192 is increasing in size recently and is large enough to see naked eye (with proper filtration).
I snapped a photo of it with my cellphone through my Orion 80ST this morning.
It will be interesting to see this sunspot during
todays partial solar eclipse.
23 Oct 2014 / 0914hrs MST / 1614hrs UT.