Author Archives: Roger Samworth

Planets and planetaries – – -14-15/07/2018

Here are some images from last night.

Having been seriously impressed with Neil’s planetary images, i have an ADC on order!

Meanwhile, I had another go at Saturn last night. Had it not been for Neil’s images, I would have been quite pleased with this one! Best I’ve managed this apparition!

I then did a composite exposure of the visible moons.

While waiting for Mars to rise to an appropriate position, I vistited these 2 planetary nebulae, NGC 6818 in Sagittarius and NGC 6781 in Aquila.

Eventually, Mars became visible,and I tried this image, bearing in mind Mars’s altitude was only about 11 degrees. As I’m sure you know, Mars is currently covered by a dust-storm, hence the lack of visible surface detail.

There did seem some vague hint of detail so here is the image with an extreme contrast stretch, followed by a screenshot of Mars from “Stellarium” for comparison. (Stellarium shows an accurate depiction of the surface facing us – a useful resource)



Can’t wait for the ADC to arrive!


Sun 09/07/2018 – – – New facula

Yesterday, Spaceweather said:

“WHITE SUNSPOT: This weekend, observers of the sun have been waiting for something to emerge over the sun’s eastern limb. We knew it was there because of a farside solar flare on July 6th. Today it arrived, and it appears to be a white sunspot.

The correct name of this phenomenon is “faculae.” It is a cousin of sunspots.

Regular dark sunspots are magnetic islands on the surface of the sun. Magnetic fields in these areas are thousands of times stronger than Earth’s magnetic field. Sunspot magnetic fields are so strong, they block the flow of heat from the nuclear furnace below. They appear dark because they are relatively cool compared to their surroundings.

Faculae are also made of magnetic fields. However, the magnetism of faculae is concentrated in much smaller bundles than in sunspots. Instead of blocking heat from below, they essentially form corridors that allow us to see into sun’s hot interior, creating an apparent bright spot on the surface of the sun.

It is still possible that a dark core will follow these faculae over the limb in the hours ahead, establishing the region as a normal sunspot group. Stay tuned.” 


This is what it looked like this morning.

Nice prominences and “filaprom” too.

For some reason, I reckon this one looks better in colour.

More explosions

Spaceweather says:


FARSIDE SOLAR EXPLOSION: Something exploded on the farside of the sun yesterday. On July 5th around 1300 UT, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) observed a coronal mass ejection (CME) billowing over the sun’s western limb: movie. NOAA analysts believe the cloud is moving away from Earth and will not hit our planet.


Wonder if we will see anything when it comes round our side – – –

Sun report 03/07/2018

Some filaments and nice prominences today.

As explained in a recent email dialogue,

The Lunt LS35 is tilt tuned and you can alter the emphasis twixt surface features and prominences by adjusting the (un-calibrated) tuning wheel. This is true for visual use at least. I seldom do this, and when imaging it isn’t that sensitive as you can compensate with processing, as I showed at RAG on friday night. I don’t change it between the surface and prominence images. I seem to get results generally very similar to those on GONG, which is my yardstick. Mind you, with published Ha images, you often see “hair” around spots, but you NEVER see this on GONG, nor do I get it.