Derby and District Astronomical Society

The Sun in 2006

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There were three sunspot groups visible on the sun on the 2nd December 2006 - 926, 927 and 928 although 928 wasn't readily visible in white light. In H-alpha it could clearly be seen. The following two images by Chris Newsome show these sunspots in white light (first image) and in H-alpha. The white light image shows sunspot groups 926 and 927 and was taken with a Canon EOS300D camera through a Celestron C80NGT. It is comprised of two images that have been superimposed. One of them was taken with a neutral density filter (taken at 100ASA, 1/10th second) and the other was with the neutral density filter and a Baader Solar Continuum Filter to increase the contrast (100ASA, 1 second). They were processed in CS2 and then layered together to form the final image. The H-alpha image is comprised of 135 frames (at 0.010 second) through a Coronado Personal Solar Telescope with a Meade DSI camera. They were stacked in Registax V4 and then processed in CS2. The H-alpha image clearly shows group 928 together with a couple of filaments.

Chris Newsome captured a couple of prominences erupting from the solar limb on the 21st November 2006. The image is comprised of 265 frames taken with a Meade DSI camera through a Coronado Personal Solar Telescope (PST), stacked in Registax and processed in CS2.

The following montage of solar images was taken by Chris Newsome on the 18th November 2006 and shows sunspot 923. The image on the left was taken with a neutral density filter using a Canon EOS300D camera and a Celestron C8-NGT telescope (11 frames, 100 ASA, 0.4 seconds). These were combined in MaximDL and processed in CS2. A close-up of the sunspot is shown in the center of the montage. On the right is a photo of the same region taken in H-alpha light using a Coronado Personal Solar Telescope and Meade DSI camera (100 frames, stacked in Registax v4 and processed in CS2).

Here is another montage of sunspot 923 taken by Chris Newsome on the 18th November 2006. This one includes an image taken through a Baader filter as well as neutral density and H-alpha images.

Dave Selfe captured the following image of the Sun in H-alpha through his Coronado Personal Solar Telescope (PST) on the 10th September 2006. It taken using an Olympus C500 digital camera and an 18 mm Celestron eyepiece and 2x Barlow lens. Basically the camera was just placed at the eyepiece and the image taken. See also the next image on this page taken by Chris Newsome through Dave's PST on the same date.

Chris Newsome and Dave Selfe managed to catch a quick photo of the sun in H-alpha on the 10th September 2006 thanks to Dave's new Coronado PST. Thirty-seven frames were captured on a Meade DSI camera, stacked in Registax and processed in CS2. Visible is sunspot 904, a filament at the 1 o'clock position and the white bits at the upper centre are the remains of Sunspot 909. Chris comments: "Visually, the sun looked incredible through the PST. There were a couple of prominences visible on the rim, the first I have ever seen!".

Dave Selfe took this image of the Sun in H-alpha with his Coronado Personal Solar Telescope (PST) in August 2006. The PST has a hydrogen alpha filter with a bandpass of less than 1.0 angstrom and the image was taken using the 20mm Kellner eyepiece that was supplied with the telescope and an Olympus C5000 digital camera on automatic. Dave comments: "It was pretty cloudy when I took the image and the sun kept disappearing behind the clouds but I hope to get a sunny weekend sometime when I can spend more time experimenting with different eyepieces and hopefully I'll get some better images. The images are nowhere near as good as the visual experience, it really is amazing."

Simon Allcock took this picture of sunset over Perinporth, Cornwall on the 3rd August 2006 using a Fuji Finepix A330 Digital Camera.  Jupiter is just visible as a faint speck in the upper left portion of the image!

This unusual image shows the path of the Sun across the sky on the 25th July 2006 and was taken by Chris Newsome. The image took 5 hours to take and is a composite of 12 frames, 11 of the Sun and one of the sky/foreground. The Sun images were taken by placing a Canon EOS 300D camera protected by a neutral density filter on the back of a Meade ETX105 telescope to act as a mount. The camera was connected to a laptop and controlled by DSLRFocus. A series of 12 images (200 ASA at 1/25sec and f/5.6) were programmed to be taken, one every 20 minutes. Only 11 were used as the image taken at about 16:05 was obscured by cloud. When the sequence was completed, a single unfiltered shot was taken at 1/800th second, f/22 and 200 ASA to show the sky and foreground. The 11 Sun images were then layered on top of each other and flattened to form one JPEG image that was black except for the track of the sun across the frame. This image was then layered on top of the unfiltered image, flattened and then a slight Gaussian blur added to blend the image and ....hey presto! Chris comments: "It goes to show that the earth does not move, but the Sun moves round the earth! The camera was static, the mount was static, the ground didn't move, the only moving object in front of the camera was the sun! So it must move round the earth!" [Yes Chris...but Mr Galileo said "But it does move..."]

Chris Newsome took the following image of sunspot group 898 on the 1st July 2006. The image was taken through a Celestron C8-NGT using a Canon EOS 300D camera. The telescope was protected with a neutral density solar filter to cut out around 99% of the sun's light and heat. A 1.25" Baader Solar Continuum filter was then placed in the optical path. The image is a single 4 second exposure at 200ASA taken in RAW mode and then converted to TIFF. The image was converted to greyscale (the original colour image was a lovely shade of pea-green due to the Baader filter!) and then processed in CS2 before converting to JPEG format. The inset is an enlarged and cropped section of the image centered on the sunspot.

Chris Newsome also took the following image of sunspot group 898 on the 1st July 2006 but using a Meade DSI camera instead of the Canon EOS300D used in the above image. As above, a Celestron C8-NGT, a solar neutral density filter and a 1.25" Baader Solar Continuum filter were used. The image is comprised of 44 frames stacked in Meade Envisage software. The resulting image was then contrast and brightness adjusted in CS2 to produce the final result. On closer examination of the image, dark magnetic lines can just be seen emanating from the sunspot.

The Sun rises over Crich Stand in Derbyshire in this picture taken from Alderwasley by Chris Newsome at 04:48 BST on the 13th June 2006. Chris used a Canon EOS 300D camera with a 200 mm lens. Just minutes before Chris took a picture of the Moon setting in the west from the same spot.

What a difference four days make! Chris Newsome repeated his observations of the Sun on the 30th March 2006 (shown below) on the 4th April. Sunspot 865 (to the lower right of the solar disk) has grown considerably. The image was taken with a Skywatcher 80T telescope and a Meade LPI camera. 57 frames were stacked in Registax and then processed in CS2. The original image was taken in greyscale.

The following picture of the Sun was taken by Chris Newsome on the morning of the 30th March 2006. It shows sunspots 865 and 866. Sunspot 865 is nearer the centre of the disc than Sunspot 866 and was already larger than the Earth when the picture was taken. Chris used a Canon EOS 300D camera at the prime focus of a Celestron C6-N telescope using a solar filter. Five images taken at 400 ASA were combined in MaximDL, processed in CS2 and converted to greyscale for the final image.

This picture by Chris Newsome shows a sun pillar and was taken on the Isle of Wight Ferry on the evening of the 5th February 2006 travelling from Cowes to Southampton. Chris notes that the day had been clear and sunny and although there weren't any clouds to make a picturesque sunset shot, the colour of the sky alone more than made up for it. This shot was taken around 10-15 minutes after sunset using a Canon EOS300D camera, at a 175 mm focal length, 3200ASA, and 1/50th second exposure. Chris slightly processed the image to darken the overall picture and to highlight the sun pillar a bit more.