Thursday, March 31, 2011

Solar Imaging Session - April 1, 2011

After getting some rest from my provincial trip, i wake up this morning with partly cloudy skies :( But since the cloudiness is not that thick, I setup my Coronado PST-Ha and patiently waited from 7:30am-9:00am and was only able to image AR11183 and AR11180 Sunspot Groups together with a nice large dark filament as well as some large eruptive prominences. They were taken through passing clouds :( I also missed imaging AR11176 as I got completely shut out after my last exposure of AR11180 :( Well, it's better than no images at all :)

Moon and Venus Imaging Session - April 1, 2011

As I return from my provincial work trip, I saw a beautiful thin crescent Moon rising low from the eastern horizon. Amid my tiredness from the long bus trip, I quickly brought out my Canon EOS 500D DSLR with EF 100-400mm IS L lens on sturdy tripod and make some short exposures of the Moon. I also image the Earthshine that was easily visible amid the brightening morning sky.

Before packing up and get some rest, I saw the planet Venus popping out behind the building and also made a shot of it at 100mm focal length before wrapping up the session.

Monday, March 21, 2011

March 19, 2011 Super Moon Observation & Imaging Session

Last March 19, members of the Astronomical League of the Philippines (ALP) held their free public viewing session at Caltex Kalentong Station in Mandaluyong City between 8:00pm -10:45pm. Members who attended were ALP President James Kevin Ty , PRO Armando Lee , Myra Lee and son Jason Lee, director Edgar Ang, Special Events Chairman Christopher Louie Lu.

The evening started out very cloudy but at around 9:45pm, a small cloud opening gave them an advantage to conduct this free public viewing of the Super Moon. More than 150 - 200 people were able to observe the highly hype Super Moon as well as observe Saturn. I also use this session to test out my modified dual purpose Canon EF 100-400mm IS L lens for both imaging and visual observation use in the event and it works out GREAT !!! I called it my Canon 77L Scope :)

The session ended at around 10:45pm with ALPers having a good time sharing the beauty of the moon to the public. More images can be viewed at .

Solar Imaging Session - March 22, 2011 (Huge Eruptive Prominence NE Limb !!!)

The sky this morning is really cloudy and when I saw some opening in the sky, I quickly setup the Coronado PST-Ha to check on the Sun. Unfortunately, it was too cloudy and haze that I can't make out any details out of the Sun. So after a while, I dismantle the scope and do my office paperwork instead. After 30 minutes, another opening came out and I again setup the PST to get a glimpse on what's going on on the Sun as I missed viewing it since March 17th.

As I focus and on the Sun on the computer screen, I was surprised to see a super huge eruptive prominence in the NE limb of the Sun!!! Wow! If I didn't patiently re-setup , I could have missed it!

Aside from the huge prominence, there is also another large eruptive prominence in the SW limb as well. AR11175 Sunspot Group is large but solar activity inside its core is quite low IMHO.

Another good interesting feature to watch tomorrow is the re-emergence of AR11165 Sunspot Group in the SE limb. Unfortunately, I got clouded out again as well as roof obstruction so I wasn;t able to image it :(

Another thing is that I'm on my provincial work trip today so no more chance for me to monitor the new sunspot group in the coming days as I will be back next weekend in time for the Messier Marathon 2011 under the dark skies of Caliraya, Laguna together with fellow members of the Astronomical League of the Philippines (ALP).

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Solar Imaging Session - March 17, 2011 (AR11169 Sunspot Group's Mi Ultimo Adios!!!)

The sky this morning is partly cloudy and seeing is poor again. Nevertheless, when I got to peek into the Coronado PST-Ha, I was surprised to see a huge looped prominence at the NW limb! Careful checking reveals that it came from departing AR11169 Sunspot Group which makes a dramatic exit by producing a huge looped prominence and thus making a rather dull solar view into a very exciting observation and imaging session as it turned out! :)

Aside from the huge prominence, there is another large eruptive prominence that is visible near the NNE limb. The large dark filament that is visible for almost a week and now near the SW limb is still a show stopper amid its reduction in size and activity.

Remnants of AR11172 Sunspot Group can still be seen and new possible AR11174 (not yet assigned but I expect it to more or less be designated that number) is starting to get active in its core near the SE quadrant.

I was able to do any white light imaging again today because of clouds :(

Overall, a nice solar observation and imaging session today amid cloudy skies.

Solar Imaging Session - March 16, 2011

After 2 days of non solar observation and imaging because of bad weather, I was able to do some partial solar observation and imaging this morning through small cloud openings but since the clouds are persistent, I was only able to do some Ha work only.

AR11169 Sunspot Group is now about to exit the NW limb while AR11172 Sunspot Group is still very small and most probably be gone tomorrow I estimate.

The huge dark filament is still visible near the SW limb but unfortunately, clouds finally take its toll on me so I call it quits and go to work.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Solar Imaging Session - March 14, 2011 (Huge Dark Filament !)

The sky this morning is partly cloudy and seeing is once again poor. AR11166 Sunspot Group is nearing the NW limb and maybe gone in 2 days. AR11169 Sunspot Group, on the other hand has almost lost all of its small components but its main core have developed further and now more photogenic than before.

But one thing that overshadow both big sunspot groups is the sudden increase the the large dark filament that was visible for the past several days. It is not huge in size and length and is quite beautiful to view in Ha wavelength !!!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Solar Imaging Session - March 13, 2011 (2 New Small Sunspot Groups)

The sky this morning is partly clear and seeing again is poor. Aside from AR11166 and AR11169, there are 2 new small sized sunspot groups on the Sun. AR11172 Sunspot Group can be seen in the Eastern limb while tiny AR11173 Sunspot Group can be seen east of AR11169 Sunspot Group.

AR11166 Sunspot Group continues to deteriorate in size but the structure is still nice to look and image nevertheless, Same goes with AR11169 Sunspot Group which has almost lost all of its sunspot core but its main core is still developing and getting larger and more complex though.

Several large dark filaments can be seen also at the center of the Sun's disk as well in Ha wavelength.

Solar Imaging Session - March 12, 2011

The sky this morning is again partly cloudy and seeing is not good as well. AR11166 Sunspot Group has deteriorated a bit compare to yesterday. Same goes for AR11169 Sunspot Group. The large dark filament in the SE quadrant is still visible and beautiful while there is also a nice eruptive prominence that is visible in the Eastern limb.

In white light, both sunspot groups are nice to image and looked at. But my whole disk is slightly soft because of sudden clouds covering the entire sky and I had to wait for a small opening to fire away and get some shots before total cloud cover :(

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Solar Imaging Session - March 11, 2011

The sky this morning is slightly cloudy and some cloud openings. Seeing today is poor but large sunspot groups AR11166 and AR11169 are beautiful that I can't resist not imaging it at all. There is a nice large eruptive prominence in the NE limb as well as 2 large dark filaments in the SE limb.

I had a hard time imaging the 2 sunspot in white light as clouds keep on passing in front of the Sun! But in the end, I still manage to image the 2 through short breaks in the clouds :0

Monday, March 7, 2011

Solar Imaging Session - March 7, 2011 (Now 5 Sunspot Groups!!!)

The sky this morning is slightly hazy but seeing is again very good. There are now 5 sunspot groups that are visible on the surface of the Sun! AR11164 and AR11166 Sunspot Group continues to be photogenic while AR11165 Sunspot Group started to grow in structure but is now nearing the SW limb :( AR11165 Sunspot Group also shows a very bright solar flare from its center core and is now also starting to exit to the SW limb.

In Ha wavelength, not much prominences is visible except for a few small groups. New AR11169 Sunspot Group looks promising to grow in size near the NE limb but I doubt this will develop like what AR11164 Sunspot Group is not showing.

Of all the 5 sunspot groups, only AR11167 Sunspot Group is very small and very inconspicious for the meantime :(