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November 25, 2020: THREE big sunspots, what a treat


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Just had an early tea break to have a look at the sun, both with the Lunt 8x32 SUNoculars, and the Coronado SolarMax-II 60 in single stack mode. Even the little Lunt picked up three big sunspots on the southern hemisphere. The most eastward one clearly the biggest. The H-alpha scope revealed far more detail, with swirling plage and filaments east of the big spot in particular, but smaller patches of plage trailing the other sunspots too. In the northern hemisphere, one or two bright swirls could be seen. A small prominence was visible near the big spot, and another more northwards. Lovely to see the sun coming back into a more active phase

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I used the C90 Mak, from my Virtuoso, mounted on the Solar Quest, and solar film filter. I was not expecting the sunspots to be that obvious; so spent some time with the puffer-brush, as I was sure that some of the 'spots' were dust. My 32mm Plossl gave me an excellent view, with a full disk occupying about half the FOV, and nice crisp spots. I did not get a chance to set up for Ha viewing with the Daystar, as the sun was dropping below the local roof line. I hope this is a sign of things to come.

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I was lucky to have a look today in white light and h-alpha. That big spot is a beauty! In h-alpha there was a bright "3" shape that I hope to see in someone's capture!

I'm wondering if my wife's Quark has a problem though. We're getting a lot of glow in the eyepiece which is drowning out the proms a bit unless your eye is at a very specific angle. I'll have to do a side-by-side test versus my Quark sometime (which has a bit of a dirty view, alas) so I see them both in the same conditions.

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I've been disappointed not to see these with my own eyes due to cloud and work commitments.

However, I am enjoying watching them on Helioviewer and then enjoy doing sketches from the laptop view.

It's not the same as seeing them myself but enjoyable nonetheless.

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Just seen a picture on a facebook page. Looks like it might be close to visible with solar glasses if you have good eyesight. One for the scope if it is clear over the weekend.

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Just out with solar scope now, very nice!  Lots to see, including a couple of fillaments, something which I haven't observed on the sun for what feels like years.

Checked with my eclipse glasses - yes!  I could see the large sunspot with a bit of patience.  Looks to be a fair amount of scatter from thin cloud, not too intrusive but blocks a bit of the fine surface detail.

I wonder what the next surprise will be... solar observing on Christmas Day perhaps?

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