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There’s no such thing as a dumb question right?


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Posted (edited)

I almost hesitate to ask this but ahem, here goes... 

My EBay white light filter turned up today & I scurried out into the garden like an excited child on Christmas morning. 
 

After a bit of faffing I have it clamped to the ST80 and using the equally cheap but pleasingly effective SV-Bony pinhole projector finder (can’t believe it just slotted in and is aligned as there’s no way to adjust) there is a lovely big, crisp, solar disc. 
 

Can’t see any sunspots though - and here’s the dumb question - is there just nothing doing today or am I missing a trick? 
 

Any beginner tips on white light observation gratefully received...

026839DE-1E05-4C96-8A6E-784DE7AF6A54.jpeg

Edited by SuburbanMak
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1 hour ago, Davey-T said:

There were some earlier in the week but they're right on the cusp of disappearing round the west edge now.

There are a few solar monitoring sites.

Dave

Solar data view select (nso.edu)

https://www.raben.com/maps/

 

 

Thank you, so it is just a case of not much to see today.
I like that view of what’s on the other side of the Sun - builds a bit of anticipation! 

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There is such a thing as a dumb question btw. I was once asked by someone at work whether the Moon was bigger than the Earth. 

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1 hour ago, BrendanC said:

There is such a thing as a dumb question btw. I was once asked by someone at work whether the Moon was bigger than the Earth. 

OK - I give in. 

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I had a quick peek this morning and, as above, the activity earlier in the week was rotating out of view. There was a tiny sun spot that I didn't notice initially. In common with nocturnal observing, a relaxed and patient approach can reveal details that weren't immediately apparent. With the sun, taking a slow careful look around each part of the disk will sometimes reveal something you'd otherwise miss. The highlight of the view this morning for me was a nice tangle of faculae around the spot (at 4 o'clock in this image https://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/data/realtime/hmi_igr/1024/latest.html). These are easier to see when they are towards the edge of the disk standing out slightly brighter against the darker background of the edge (a phenomenon known as limb darkening). Even when the sun is quiet you can see granulation too. Unlike a large sunspot, these features are all a lot more subtle. Nice article here: Fun in the Sun: A White-Light Guide to Our Nearest Star - Sky & Telescope - Sky & Telescope (skyandtelescope.org)

You've got into this at a good time though. The sun is starting to get more active again after a quiet spell.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, SuburbanMak said:

I was once asked by someone at work whether the Moon was bigger than the Earth. 

Is it actually small, or is it just far away? 😉

Edited by Orange Smartie
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On 01/05/2021 at 18:02, Size9Hex said:

I had a quick peek this morning and, as above, the activity earlier in the week was rotating out of view. There was a tiny sun spot that I didn't notice initially. In common with nocturnal observing, a relaxed and patient approach can reveal details that weren't immediately apparent. With the sun, taking a slow careful look around each part of the disk will sometimes reveal something you'd otherwise miss. The highlight of the view this morning for me was a nice tangle of faculae around the spot (at 4 o'clock in this image https://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/data/realtime/hmi_igr/1024/latest.html). These are easier to see when they are towards the edge of the disk standing out slightly brighter against the darker background of the edge (a phenomenon known as limb darkening). Even when the sun is quiet you can see granulation too. Unlike a large sunspot, these features are all a lot more subtle. Nice article here: Fun in the Sun: A White-Light Guide to Our Nearest Star - Sky & Telescope - Sky & Telescope (skyandtelescope.org)

You've got into this at a good time though. The sun is starting to get more active again after a quiet spell.

Thank you - really useful links and good advice.  I can definitely see me getting hooked, its so dynamic and something I can do on a quick tea break from work. Like the idea of tracking over time.  

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On 01/05/2021 at 19:32, Orange Smartie said:

Is it actually small, or is it just far away? 😉

You are Fr. Dougal and I claim my £5   🐮 .  .  .  .  .  .  .   .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  ..  🐄

Heather

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Here's an admission of stupidity – I didn't realise you could use something like an ST80 (which I own, too) to look at the sun. If you were able to share links to the equipment you bought, I'd be very grateful :)

 

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When doing solar observing, please remember to cover up or remove your normal finder. Friend of mine forgot and set light to his hair. 🤣  Could have been a lot worse...

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3 minutes ago, Starwatcher2001 said:

When doing solar observing, please remember to cover up or remove your normal finder. Friend of mine forgot and set light to his hair. 🤣  Could have been a lot worse...

Not sure if it's true but I think I read somewhere Galileo is supposed to have singed his beard?

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8 minutes ago, Starwatcher2001 said:

When doing solar observing, please remember to cover up or remove your normal finder. Friend of mine forgot and set light to his hair. 🤣  Could have been a lot worse...

I used to show people that you could light a cigarette with a scope in seconds, I hoped they remembered what that might do if....

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27 minutes ago, Basementboy said:

Here's an admission of stupidity – I didn't realise you could use something like an ST80 (which I own, too) to look at the sun. If you were able to share links to the equipment you bought, I'd be very grateful :)

 

I bought this 12 quid Chinese solar filter off eBay, basically its just a former that stretches some Baader Solar film across the  objective lens. Its working a treat and I still seem to be able to see...

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/384030492033?chn=ps&norover=1&mkevt=1&mkrid=710-134428-41853-0&mkcid=2&itemid=384030492033&targetid=1139674280107&device=c&mktype=pla&googleloc=1007237&poi=&campaignid=12689627437&mkgroupid=125757552892&rlsatarget=pla-1139674280107&abcId=9300529&merchantid=137623453&gclid=Cj0KCQjw4cOEBhDMARIsAA3XDRho16uAQ1n5NTID9HEOVzQkIGokbVkPVBazfLwv3fmrX-Hig53NeTcaAharEALw_wcB

Also this 16 pound pinhole solar finder which means you can position the sun by looking at its little projection screen rather than any kind of sighting in line with the barrel.  I melted a hole in the filter casing with a hot screwdriver and bolted the finder on to it. 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/392989020937?hash=item5b7ff89309:g:4rEAAOSwK2ZfOkkB

I currently have it sitting on an old Prinz 60mm refractor, nice to have a quick solar glimpse between Zoom calls...

 

 

IMG_9361.jpg

IMG_9363.jpg

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Starwatcher2001 said:

When doing solar observing, please remember to cover up or remove your normal finder. Friend of mine forgot and set light to his hair. 🤣  Could have been a lot worse...

Removed, thank you, wise words...

Edited by SuburbanMak
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1 hour ago, wulfrun said:

Not sure if it's true but I think I read somewhere Galileo is supposed to have singed his beard?

Really hope that's true :)

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Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, SuburbanMak said:

I currently have it sitting on an old Prinz 60mm refractor, nice to have a quick solar glimpse between Zoom calls...

Nice! And that's it? Just a bit of Baader solar filter between your eye and Sauron's? I thought you needed fancy "solar scopes"...

That's one reason why I like this forum so much, you say "I'm thinking of buying this" and someone says "nah just sellotape a cigarette and wrap it in an elastic band and you'll save yourself four thousands pounds"

Edited by Basementboy
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Posted (edited)

Kind of - my understanding is that this arrangement will safely show Sunspots, Faculae (which are like sun-spot forming regions I believe) and under really good conditions some indication of granularity (although resolving the individual "grains" requires high magnification and more aperture than I've got here)   nevertheless you can see some kind of texture.   The other feature you can see is "limb darkening" - basically because the Sun is gaseous, when you look at the edge you are kind of looking "through" so there's less light emitting stuff, so it appears darker.  I've just been looking at this, makes it look quite 3D which is very cool. No sunspots today though...

The H-Alpha expensive dedicated solar gear shows the flares and features in the sun's corona, which this approach will not show.  

Still, it's not bad for a few quid and I now have a telescope making daily observations that I reckon has spent most of the last 40 years in an attic!  

Edited by SuburbanMak
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Right, makes sense, thanks

7 minutes ago, SuburbanMak said:

Still, it's not bad for a few quid and I now have a telescope making daily observations that I reckon has spent most of the last 40 years in an attic! 

Not to mention something to look at when almost every night is cloudy

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