Saturday, December 31, 2011

Deep Sky Imaging Session - December 30, 2011

Some ALPers went to Caliraya, Laguna last December 29-30, 2011 to do some deep sky observation and imaging before year ends. Although the early evening brought out some light rains and drizzles, it didn't discourage us to still do some observations and imaging around 11:00pm onwards. As for me, with constellation Orion already past meridian and going into western horizon, I tried to do some imaging on the IC2118 Witch Head Nebula in Eridanus was able to get some details despite some haze in the west as well as some thin clouds had hamper my imaging of the faint nebula. :( I will try again next imaging session in January.

I then proceeded to image NGC2244, a star cluster with Rosette Nebula in Monoceros. While it is also in the western sky already, I was still able to get a decent shot of the nebula amid limited sub exposure times. At around 4:00am, I together with fellow ALPer Arnel Campos tried to see if we can see a faint hint of the tail of Comet C/2011 W3 Lovejoy as well as Comet C/2009 P1 Garrad. Unfortunately, we couldn't see Comet Lovejoy but we already expected that as it is for Southern hemisphere view , just pushing our luck only :) LOL As for Comet Garrad, it was supposed to be easy to recover near the Hercules constellation but there is a pesky low horizon clouds covering the view from us until it is already too bright for us to see it even visually :( Well, better luck again for us in January imaging session.

Solar Imaging Session - January 1, 2012 (Large New Year SE Eruptive Prominence! )

The sky this morning is very hazy due to last night's New Year's fireworks. Seeing condition is surprisingly good amid the pollution but I had to compensate on all exposures from what I normally use because of the condition this morning. In Ha wavelength, yesterday's SE large eruptive prominence is still visible as well as the NE long dark filament. AR11384 Sunspot Group has exited the eastern limb but some traces of the group can still be seen. Both AR11388 and 11389 Sunspot Groups shows high solar activity inside its cores/ AR11389 Sunspot Group continues to grow in size and will definitely be the group to monitor in the first week of 2012! AR11390 and AR11386 Sunspot Groups are very quiet in solar activities.

In white light wavelength, further exposure compensation was needed in both high res and full disk for me to get a good shot of them before I wrapped up my first 2012 solar observation and imaging session!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Solar Imaging Session - December 31, 2011 (Large SE Eruptive Prominence & NE Dark Filament !!!)

The sky this morning is partly clear with numerous clouds hovering near the Sun. I quickly setup my solar rig and start to observe and image the Sun. In Ha wavelength, the SE quadrant is very active with a large group of eruptive prominence as well as very active AR11389 and AR11388 Sunspot Groups. There is also a long dark filament that is visible in the NE quadrant. AR11384 Sunspot Group is about to exit the eastern limb. A new AR11390 Sunspot Group can also be seen in the NE quadrant but contains small pores only amid its size in length. AR11386 Sunspot Group is quiet in its core.

In white light wavelength, AR11389 and AR11388 Sunspot Group is a very photogenic sunspot group in the SE quadrant while we are bidding farewell to AR11384 Sunspot Group which is about to exit the eastern limb.

Happy New and Prosperous Year to all of you! May we all have more clear skies and even more energetic solar activity this coming 2012 !!!

Solar Imaging Session - December 29, 2011 (New AR11389 Sunspot Group)

The sky this morning was partly clear and seeing condition again is only fair. With AR11387 Sunspot Group about to exit the SW limb, a new AR11389 Sunspot Group is emerging in the SE limb :) The group is photogenic even if it is still in the limb thus showing Wilson Effect. Yesterday's Large NW eruptive prominence is still visible in the NW limb but has started to subside a bit in size although can still be considered large in size. AR11384 Sunspot Group continues to show nice umbral structure in its main core. I was also able to image AR11384, AR11386 , AR11388 and AR11389 Sunspot Groups in white light wavelength as well.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Solar Imaging Session - December 28, 2011 (Large NW Eruptive Prominence !!!))

The sky this morning is very hazy and with thick clouds but nevertheless, I can still see the Sun a bit so I proceeded with setting up and imaging the Sun. There is a large eruptive prominence in the NW limb which is the showcase for this morning imaging session. A bright flare can be seen clearly near the eastern limb where a moderate size eruptive prominence and AR11388 Sunspot Group is visible. Both AR11387 and AR11386 Sunspot Groups shows a lot of solar activity inside its core today compare to yesterday.

I also tried imaging AR11384 Sunspot Group through thick haze and clouds, a desperation and futile imaging quality on the shot but nevertheless, it is still better than no imaging at all. Afterwards, the Sun gets clouded out thus I had to end the solar session as late for work already. Hope I will get a better session tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Solar Imaging Session - December 27, 2011 (Huge Long Dark Filaments Remnants & New AR11388 Sunspot Group)

The sky this morning is partly clear and seeing was fair at the start of my solar observation and imaging session. There is a new possible AR11388 Sunspot Group in the eastern limb and its size looks promising to monitor in the days to come. AR11384 Sunspot Group still has a big main umbral core structure. AR11387 Sunspot Group is very active in its core while exiting AR11382 Sunspot Group is near the SW limb already. AR11386 Sunspot Group is very quiet in its core and has almost the same size as AR11387 Sunspot Group.

As I was about to start imaging in white light wavelength, clouds suddenly start to cover the Sun and this caused a sudden drop on the seeing condition from fair to poor :( I still nevertheless proceeded to image AR11384, AR11387 and AR11386 Sunspot Group up close. Afterwards, the sky totally shut me down thus I wasn't able to image full disk :(

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Solar Imaging Session - December 26, 2011

The sky this morning is partly cloudy and seeing condition is also poor. Nevertheless, I proceeded to still observe and image the Sun in Ha wavelength though the Coronado PST-Ha. AR11384 Sunspot Group is still large but is starting to deteriorate on its smaller components while its main umbral component remains intact. AR11382 and AR11385 Sunspot Group which can be seen in the SW quadrant still shows some good solar activity inside its core. A new AR11386 sunspot group can be seen in the eastern limb and also show some good solar activity inside its core. The large long dark filament in the NW quadrant has snapped already but the remnants is still quite obvious. Several group of eruptive prominences can be seen in the SW limb as well as in the NW limb.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Solar Imaging Session - December 22, 2011 (Numerous Huge Long Dark Filaments & Large Prominences !!!)

The sky this morning is clear and I was able to do some solar imaging both in Ha and white light. Seeing condition though is not good though :( In Ha wavelength, AR11377/76 Sunspot Group is nearing the NW limb and still very active in its core and is also close to a large group of eruptive prominences! AR11382/81 Sunspot Group, on the other hand, is also getting longer in length but show only some solar activity inside its core. AR11384 Sunspot Group is growing rapidly in structure as well as size so this will probably be the center of attention in the days to come. Small AR11383 Sunspot Group is very silent :(

In white light wavelength, AR11384 Sunspot Group is a joy to look at but the seeing condition prevented me from getting a very good shot of the sunspot groups at high resolution. AR11382/81 Sunspot Group is very long but has a nice main core as well as several small umbral core structures. Departing AR11377/76 Sunspot Group is also very nice to look at as well.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Solar Imaging Session - December 21, 2011 (Huge Long Dark Filament & Large Hedgerow Prominence !!!)

The sky this morning is hazy and partly cloudy as I unload my luggage from my trip from Laoag and Baguio work trip. I saw a small window of sunlight peeping out from the clouds so I didn't waste any time to snap a few shots before I head back again to my Tarlac work trip again.

Both AR11382/81 & AR11377/76 Sunspot Group are very active in its core while AR11384 Sunspot Group in the NE limb is also starting to get active as well as small AR11383 Sunspot Group developing below it. There is also a huge long dark filament visible in the NE quadrant as well as numerous smaller dark filaments in the NW quadrant. A large hedgerow prominence dominate the NW limb :0

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Total Lunar Eclipse Imaging Session - December 10-11, 2011

The sky in the afternoon was raining and very cloudy, But we were fortunate later in the evening to be able to observe the eclipse almost on its entirely :) Since the Moon glides near the southernmost umbral shadow, the bright southern limb is visible and not quite red like that of last June 16th total lunar eclipse :0 Since the weather was slightly cloudy with haze, I opted to use the Canon EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 set at 400mm f/5.6 instead of adding a EF 1.4x extender so I will have a faster f/ratio just in case weather gone cloudy during totality :0 I also use my portable mount for this session in Kenko Sky Memo-R tracker instead of the Vixen GP-DX mount which I used last June 16th total lunar eclipse session.

I was observing the eclipse with fellow members of the Astronomical League of the Philippines (ALP) at AstroCamp Observatory Services in SM Mall of Asia San Miguel by the Bay. It was a great astro event as we were also able to share the eclipse view to the crowd as well!