Saturday, 2 April 2016
Best of both worlds
It has been quite some time since my last entry. My apology for my absence. Work, family life, weather, again conspiring against me.
Today I took the opportunity to sketch the sun following the prompting from a mate that a big arch prominence was on show.
By the time I set up my Daystar Quark, the arch had developed into a massive detached arch, resembling a floating fire above the solar limb.
Either side of the detached arch were other smaller, but just as detailed proms. One of these was interacting with the detached prom, with gossamer soft tendrils of material reaching across between the two.
On the opposite side of the Sun, there was another fascinating set of prominences on display. Most stark was a massive inclined pyramid prom – which had a surprise in store for me… This pyramid was a massive structure, likely rivalling the height of the detached arch on the other side. Going clockwise from the pyramid, immediately beside and sitting beneath the overhanging peak, a lovely platform prom busied itself, trying its best to ignore its colossal neighbour. Further down clockwise was another platform prom, though larger and more ‘untidy’ in structure. AND a little further on clockwise again was a little pairing of a pillar and fork proms reaching across to each other.
I recently picked up a SolarMax II 60, with a damaged additional double stack unit. The damaged unit is useable, and not dangerous to use (the internal etalon would take care of that), but the image is not uniformly illuminated, with a ‘zonal band’ cutting through the FOV where the double stack effect really pops out. I set up the SolarMax, and what an extraordinary Chromosphere appeared!
The lone sunspot inside from the larger platform prom was distinctly arachnid in appearance. Plages radiated out accompanied by masses of fibrils. Just in from the pyramid was a curious set of four filament waves! I’m actually not sure what the geometric description would be! And the pyramid prom showed itself not to be a limb structure, but starting from inside of the limb – a forked filament reached out from the chromosphere forming the base structure of the colossal pyramid, reaching out through the limb of the Sun. Quite a spectacular structure.
The area next to the massive detached arch also had a fabulously long filament reach across the disc, to kiss the lower set of smaller proms.
The difference in capability between the Daystar Quark and the SolarMax is quite stark. Each has their own unique strength, and together they make for an amazing set of observing opportunities.