As part of our participation at Addingham gala. We took our two solar scopes to give the public the opportunity to see the Sun safely. At the previous society meeting the guest speaker was Mr Kevin Kilburn, from Manchester astronomical society. He is a keen solar observer, and he suggested that the purchase of two dark pillowcases would greatly help the observer. So armed with our scopes and pillowcases we hoped for fine weather.
We were rewarded with fantastic summer sunshine and we agree with Mr Kilburn that placing the pillowcases over your head whilst looking through the lense does improve your observation of the sun.
We first used the Coronado innovation. Allegedly the world’s most popular telescope to observe the Sun. We had purchased this several years ago at accost of £300. We were very disappointed with the results or rather lack of good quality images.
We then moved onto the Aldi supermarket special. Which was purchased for about £60. Marketed under the banner of ‘National geographic’ we were able to obtain clear images of the sun. In fact we could clearly see the largest current Sunspot of 2017, towards the right hand side of the sun’s disc.
This sunspot is numbered AR2665 which emerged just as few days ago. It has mushroomed into a behemoth nearly as wide as the planet Jupiter. On July 9th the fast-growing sunspot produced an M-class solar flare and a short-lived shortwave radio blackout over East Asia and Australia. Stronger flares and Earth-directed coronal mass ejections may be in the offing as AR2665 turns toward our planet in the days ahead.
AR2665 still poses a threat for solar flares and coronal mass ejections, as I post this blog entry. But future eruptions are not likely be Earth directed. Nevertheless, this sunspot will still affect our planet in the days ahead. A coronal mass ejection hurled toward arrived on July 16th, sparking high-latitude auroras and moderately strong geomagnetic storms.
A local resident, showed Paul his solar observation notes, which he had been collating over many years. Using his personal solar scope in his back garden in the village.