Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Solar Imaging Session - November 30, 2011 (AR11363 Bright Flare & Huge Eruptive Prominences !!!)

The sky this morning is fair and seeing condition is also good. 2 huge eruptive prominences greeted me this morning together with a bright flare from the new AR11363 Sunspot Group in the SE limb . What a good way to spice up my day! I only managed to monitor the flare near its peak brightness and in less than 10 minutes, it started to fade till it is no longer visible :) A comparison flare development image is also included to show how it developed and fade from view. The huge dark filaments in the NW quadrant is still visible but is nearing the limb so more or less it will exit the NW in a day or two.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Solar Imaging Session - November 29, 2011 (Numerous Dark Filaments & Large Eruptive Prominences !!!)

The sky this morning is clear and seeing condition is ok. In Ha wavelength, the most prominent feature on the solar disk are the numerous twisting huge dark filaments that are visible in the NW quadrant. 2 large eruptive prominences are also visible in the SE and SW limb. AR11361 Sunspot Group, although small, shows solar activity in its core. AR11362 Sunspot Group also shows a small flare in its main component.

I was also able to image the bigger groups in white light wavelength as well as full disk shot. A new not yet designated sunspot group (possibly will be classified as AR11363) is visible near the SE limb.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Jupiter Imaging Session - November 28, 2011

The sky this evening is partly cloudy but Jupiter can be seen easily. Seeing condition is around 1 / 5 . This is the boring side of Jupiter but still image it as I'm practicing my planetary imaging skills. I can see the 2 barges as well as some some festoons on the NEB. Several small white spots can be seen in the STB region. Hope to do some more imaging tomorrow just in case.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Solar Imaging Session - November 28, 2011 (Numerous Dark Filaments & Large Eruptive Prominence !!!)

The sky this morning is fair and seeing condition is ok. There are numerous huge dark filaments twisting and curling in the NW quadrant! A sight to behold! A large eruptive prominence can also be seen in the southern limb!

Rest of the sunspot groups are mostly quiet and with minimal solar activity inside their cores.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Solar Imaging Session - November 26, 2011 (Numerous Dark Filaments !!!)

This is the first solar imaging session I had again after my return from Bicol work trip. The sky was partly cloudy and I had to wait till around 8:30am before I was able to get any images in Ha. I didn't image in white light this morning as lots of clouds :(

Lots of sunspot groups is visible on the solar disk but I'm more amazed at the beauties of the numerous dark filaments near the sunspot groups! Lots of twist and turns :) A mix of small and large dark filaments galore IMHO!

Several nice eruptive prominences are also visible in the NW and SW limb.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

December 10-11, 2011 Total Lunar Eclipse Observation

This coming December 10-11, 2011, a total lunar eclipse will be visible in its entirely from the Philippines as well as in Asia and Australia. A total lunar eclipse occurs when a full Moon is exactly on the line from the Sun to the Earth. The Moon is then in Earth's shadow, or the umbra, and takes on a reddish or orange color. This coloring comes from light refracted around the edge of Earth towards the Moon; it comes from all Earth's sunrises and sunsets. If Earth's atmosphere is especially opaque, as happens following a major volcanic eruption, the eclipse can be so dark that the Moon disappears, but this is very rare. Since this eclipse happens with the Moon submerged in the Earth's umbral shadow's southernmost edge , the totally eclipsed Moon is expected to be bright compared to last June 16's total lunar eclipse whereas the Moon almost passed through the center of the Earth umbral shadow thus showing a dark red color as seen from the above image taken by ALPer James Kevin Ty last June 16, 2011.

No two lunar eclipses are alike, since there is always some factor that causes variation in the phases, brightness or color; consequently is worthwhile observing each eclipse. One of the best ways to monitor the progress of a lunar eclipse is with binoculars. A telescope will give you a close-up view of the shadow moving slowly over the craters, but with their wide views and sharp optics, binoculars give you a striking perspective on the entire drama of totality.

For this eclipse, penumbral phase will start at around 7:33pm Philippine Standard Time (PST) with the penumbral shadow entering through the eastern portion of the Moon . But the interesting part of this event will happen when the main umbra phase (which is the darkest shadow) will start to casts its shadow at around 8:45pm PST and reach maximum totality at around 10:32pm PST wherein the entire eclipsed Moon will be bright red in color. During this time, the winter constellations will be well placed for viewing so a number of bright stars can be used for magnitude comparisons. Aldebaran (mv = +0.87) is 9° to the southwest of the eclipsed Moon, while Betelgeuse (mv = +0.45) is 19° to the southeast, Pollux (mv = +1.16) is 37° east, and Capella (mv = +0.08) is 24° north.

Afterwards, the Moon will start to exit totality phase little by little at around 10:57pm PST until it exits the umbral phase entirely at around 12:18 am of December 11, 2011. and finally, the Moon will exiting the penumbral phase from the western part of the Moon at around 1:30am PST.

The full detail of the eclipse circumstances as well as diagram ( ) courtesy of Fred Espenak are as follows:

Eclipse Phases Time (PST) Altitude Azimuth
Moon enters Penumbra 07:33:32 pm 30 deg 72 deg E
Moon enters Umbra 08:45:42 pm 47 deg 72 deg E
Moon enters Totality 10:06:16 pm 64 deg 67 deg E
Maximum Totality 10:31:48 pm 70 deg 63 deg NE
Moon exits Totality 10:57:24 pm 75 deg 55 deg NE
Moon exits Umbra 12:17:58 am 80 deg 325 deg NW
Moon exits Penumbra 01:30:00 am 65 deg 294 deg NW

Members of the Astronomical League of the Philippines will be observing and documenting this event at AstroCamp Observatory . For more inquiries on the eclipse as well as our setup times , kindly contact ALP President James Kevin Ty at 09178559863 or ALP PRO Armando Lee at 09177922053.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Solar Imaging Session - November 14, 2011 (Huge SE Hedgerow Prominence & Very Long Dark Filaments !!! )

The Sun this morning is very hazy and I could only see the glow of the Sun through the clouds, but since I was monitoring the growth of the SE huge hedgerow prominence, I waited patiently and try to image it through super hazy sky! All I can manage to image are super soft surface detail and almost invisible prominence that I could barely see. But this didn't break my patience and spirit so I continue to wait for more than another hour of frustration before some clouds starting to disperse where the Sun is located and true enough amid still slightly hazy sky, I was finally able to see its actual size and imaged it! The huge prominence's length in the SE limb has narrowed today but increase in its height. First time to monitor a huge prominence for more than 4 days and how it grow! :)

The other huge prominence in NE limb has simmered down already and might disappear altogether tomorrow IMHO. But the NE quadrant's super mega long dark filament continues to get longer and I don;t know how long it will still stretch before it snaps :0

AR11339 Sunspot Group is also near the edge of western limb and will exit by tomorrow. The rest of the other sunspot groups are stable and not much activity on their structure.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Solar Imaging Session - November 13, 2011 (2 Huge Eruptive Prominences & Numerous Large Dark Filaments !!! )

The sky this morning is again clear and seeing is fair. All the center of attraction now is in Ha wavelength now the huge eruptive hedgerow prominence in the SE continues to grow bigger than yesterday's image. Looks like this will still be possible to view tomorrow IMHO. Question will be if it will grow even bigger or smaller :) LOL The other huge eruptive prominence in the NE is still visible but has deteriorated a lot but still a joy to look at nevertheless.

The huge long dark filament in the NE quadrant continues to grow longer and is very nice to view like a big snake on the Sun :) AR11339 Sunspot Group is near the western limb and will continue to deteriorate in structure and size :(

There is not much action in white light right now with almost all groups being stable in size and structure. Aside from the not yet designated AR11346 group in the eastern limb and some small pores developing near AR11342 which I'm not sure is still related to this group or will be designated another new group.

Jupiter Imaging Session - November 12, 2011 ( Jupiter with Great Red Spot )

After processing my solar images this evening, I still got some energy left inside me for me to go out and try imaging Jupiter again and learn to process it again. After 1 hour of scope cool down, I started to image Jupiter with the Great Red Spot near the Central Meridian. 2 red barges can be seen in the NEB.

Solar Imaging Session - November 12, 2011 (2 Huge Eruptive Prominences & Numerous Large Dark Filaments !!! )

The sky this morning is again clear and seeing is also good as well. Since there are 2 huge eruptive prominences in the NE and SE limb, I was curious if it will still be visible or gone. When I pointed the PST-Ha on the Sun, Whoa! It has grown huge specially the one in the SE limb! Yesterday, it looks like a toppled Xmas tree and now it looks bigger and wider and has lots of curls in its structure! The one in the NE limb is now narrower in length but has grown taller! Both are a sight to behold!

Lots of large and long dark filaments can be seen in the NE quadrant as well as SE quadrant. AR11339 Sunspot Group show some small flare activity inside its core. AR11338, AR11344 and AR11345 Sunspot regions shows lots of activities specially AR11344 which has grown in size and structures as well!

In white light, AR11339 has shrunk considerably and undergoing Wilson Effect as well as nearing the eastern limb. Rest of the sunspot groups are stable and almost the same as before in size and structure except AR11344 Sunspot Group which shows a beautiful numerous pore structure is also very photogenic IMHO. There are 9 Sunspot Groups on the Sun and the latest one in the eastern limb which is still not yet designated but I presume it will be designated AR11346 maybe tomorrow.