Author Archives: Nick Cox

Sun action : science day RAG

Between clouds , managed this stirring sight. Very pleased to read that AR  had appeared , this being AR 2738 which had disappeared around the limb for two weeks. In white light photosphere view there was plenty surface action and a couple of small pores. Plages usually show up here , but it was difficult viewing being near the limb. In Ha there was plenty action with arching prominences, plasma condensing and surface granulation.

A very fine show for our current solar minimum . 35 mm of aperture and wide field does give grand views,

Nick.

14/2/19 Solar action.

The most promising of forecasts soon breaks down into chasing gaps between the clouds. It seems best to get set up early !

Really surprised at how much detail the Hershel wedge gives. AR 2738 still in one piece , the smaller spots are more obvious . Some proms and filaments in Ha.

Looks like we’ll have to follow this on Gong , http://halpha.nso.edu/ always worth looking at before setting out , Nick.

AR 2738 more detail !

Very surprised to getting even more solar action. A huge arc of plasma floated free way above the limb, this together with proms gave plenty to observe. The whole disc showed surface activity.

Using a green and polarising filter with the Herschel wedge at x65, the spot gave a really spiked edge. This came and went with the seeing , but settled, never noticed these spikes before. Again , a lovely day to set up and return , under clear skies ! Nick.

8/4/2019 AR 2738 large sunspot.

Not the best of seeing , light cloud didn’t help. But a welcome huge sunspot. Resolved by eye , it gave four near joined black areas with a large penumbra. Plenty of surface detail.

Got this using a Lunt Herschel wedge and a polarising filter in a Vixen 90mm. By eye there was also a smaller spot nearer the limb. Ha gave a huge hedgerow prom. This is a B solar flare event , those to the north will be happy to get auroras.

clear skies ! Nick.

Before the “Snow Moon” got going.

21/2/19 Swadlincote C6r on Neq6 mount.

A short session before the Moon glow got going. This time it was the “snow Moon”, big bright and silvery as SWMBO pointed out .

Very surprised to get a lovely unfiltered view of NGC 2440, a bright +9.3 planetary Nebula in Puppis. Discovered by Herschel , it bears the hottest central white dwarf. Continuing with obscure a lucky view pulled out by averted vision of 15 Hydrae . The B companion giving a 1.2″ split with two further faint companions. Staying in Hydra and a great view of M48.
Two further challenges in Gemini , Σ1037 and Σ1081. Looking at the Trapezium , the E star was quite obvious , but no sign of the F . Probably as Orion rested on the town lights. We’ve got led streetlights, the glow is pretty fierce , but doesn’t give that horrible orange glow. Just a few clusters worth observing ,M46, M47 , M50 and the compact NGC 2420.

From here a six inch aperture (f8)gives equivalent views to my 8″ Newtonian (f6) , but with increased contrast and more defined diffraction discs on bright stars and planetary views. The seeing and transparency of the atmosphere dominate , but it is possible to get down to below one arc second separation. It’s quite surprising to get so much detail from simple equipment . The Eq6 holds the 11.5kg ota weight of the six inch refractor, with a carrying capacity of 25kgs , there’s room for more !

Lovely early session under ,
Clear skies ! Nick.