Today and tomorrow (5/11 and 5/12) an extremely large group of

  • #1
Andy Resnick
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Today and tomorrow (5/11 and 5/12) an extremely large group of sunspots is directly facing the earth:

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/technology/2012/05/enormous-sunspot-could-lead-to-solar-flares/

I went outside this morning and using a ND 7.0 filter could see it by eye, so photographs could be quite spectacular. Note- if you are not sure what 'ND 7.0' means, then don't risk damaging your eye and/or camera.

Notes: when I photograph the sun, I use at least ND 5.0, no polarizers, but keep the UV filter. The order matters- the UV filter goes at the back end, after the ND filters, to prevent damage. The ND filters have been absorptive, but I just found a reflective one buried in one of the labs which I'll try today. Even at ND 5.0 I have to stop down to f/44 (f/22 + 2X tele) and expose at 1/8000 s. If I want to add a color filter, that goes last, after everything else.

Good luck!
 

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  • #2
jtbell
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Are you going to try for the transit of Venus on June 5?
 
  • #3
Andy Resnick
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Definitely! It will be visible here around sunset... I've been getting dizzy converting universal time to local time.
 
  • #4
Andy Resnick
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Whoa:

http://img217.imageshack.us/img217/4374/dsc44051.jpg [Broken]

http://img98.imageshack.us/img98/3820/dsc440521.jpg [Broken]
 
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  • #5
Drakkith
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That thing must be at least twice the size of the Earth. Or even a dozen!
 
  • #6
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So I drove to the sea for the sunset and see if I could capture it.

Bummer, the sun hid behind frontal system clouds coming in, before it was dim enough to lock on.

I guess I need that seven stops neutral density filter (ND7).
 
  • #7
Andy Resnick
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I guess Venus counts as a 'sunspot' tonight- most likely I'll never find out as the clouds are heavy and getting heavier.... :(
 
  • #8
Andy Resnick
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The skies miraculously cleared up right at 6:03 pm. Here's a sample:

http://img812.imageshack.us/img812/908/dsc009811.jpg [Broken]

My lens is *filthy*- aside from all the sunspots....
 
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  • #9
Astronuc
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The skies miraculously cleared up right at 6:03 pm. Here's a sample:

My lens is *filthy*- aside from all the sunspots....
Nevertheless, nice!
 
  • #10
Drakkith
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Nice Andy!
 
  • #11
jtbell
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Beautiful! Much better than the crude pictures that I produced by using a pair of binoculars as a "projector" and photographing the resulting image on a screen.
 
  • #12
Andy Resnick
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Here's a few more, after some post-processing:

http://img826.imageshack.us/img826/306/montagesmall.jpg [Broken]

and a close-up just as Venus makes 'second contact'- supposedly it's possible to see Venus's atmosphere, but I'm not sure I can:

http://img690.imageshack.us/img690/151/kisska.jpg [Broken]

And then a cleaned-up version of the one I posted earlier: I stacked about 40 frames to get rid of the dirt, then added Venus later. One bonus- the solar atmosphere along the limb is visible (at the bottom):

http://img819.imageshack.us/img819/4420/tweaksmalll.jpg [Broken]
 
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