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Tuesday, January 07, 2014

 

Giant Sunspot AR 1944 Keeps on Growing

Sunspot AR 1944 imaged using my Canon IXUS  (400 ASA) and 4" Newtonian (infinity to infinity focussing with a 25 mm eyepiece) on 7 January at 8:00 pm AEST,  AR 1944 is the largest one in the middle. The white circle at the top is lens reflection. Click to embiggenSunspot AR 1944 imaged using my Canon IXUS  (400 ASA) and 4" Newtonian (infinity to infinity focussing with a 25 mm eyepiece) on 5 January. There are multiple sunspots, AR 1944 is the one shaped like Australia (see inset) with New Zealand off to the right. Click to embiggen

Giant Sunspot AR 1944 continues to grow, it is now almost dead centre of the Sun (compare the images above taken on the 7th (today) and the 5th). I could still easily see it this afternoon with just eclipse viewing glasses despite the thin haze of cloud. Shortly after the image above was taken, the Sun sank below the roof top, so my focus is not as good as before.

It is readily visible in safe solar projection systems. This link will show you how to make safe solar viewing and telescope projection systems. Here is my step by step guide to making a binocular projection system, and a guide to aiming your binoculars or telescope when you can't actually look at the Sun. And this is the projection system I use with my refractor telescope.

For aurora fans waiting breathlessly, while AR 1944 has the complex magnetic field that can produce X class flares it has so far failed to produce any. Today's M class flare was from another sunspot group. .

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Comments:
As the 2nd image this NASA release shows, the M flare did happen in AR 1944 but far away from the big spot.
 
Thanks so much for the info here.

I just hope we can see it in Ballarat, Vic!!

Would love to start my own blog, but no idea how, so I'll follow yours :-)
 
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