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« White Light Solar Images- Astrophotography by John Minnerath, Part 1 | Main | America and Britain and a note on the Soviet Command Economy by Richard Sale »

January 12, 2013


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Maureen Lang


I'm really curious about two of these images: the 5/20/12 Annular Eclipse & the 7/14/12 C1 flare in AR11087. Would you care to explain to this rank amateur solar gazer what I'm actually looking at in these two? Thanks.

John Minnerath

An annular Solar eclipse occurs when because of position the Moon's shadow is smaller than the diameter of the Sun. In our unique Solar System both disks appear the same size, with some variation between perigee and apogee.
That photo was taken with just a large telephoto lens with a WL filter on it and the camera on a tripod out in the yard.
It was a very cloudy day as can be seen, but it did add a cool effect to an otherwise pretty uninspiring photo. One of the larger Sunspots that day can also be seen.
That picture was about the maximum eclips for me because of where I was in relation to the eclipse track.
For the next upcoming total eclipse, dead center of the track will be in a meadow about 1/4 mile from me. I'll have 100% totality for several minutes.
I can't wait!

Solar flares are classed according to their brightness in x-ray wave length. C being at the low end of the scale.
That sequence I took was when that Active Region was quite busy flaring.
These flares can happen rapidly, The entire sequence only lasted about 20 minutes.
Flares are really cool when made into an animation, but I've never managed to master the technique.

Maureen Lang

Thanks for the comprehensive explanations, John. As far as animating the flare sequence, I wish I had the knowledge to help out- perhaps another astrophotog commenter.....paging Cieran, Cieran?

John Minnerath

Here's an example of a prominence animation.
Andy makes some great ones.
If I ever get to where I can see well enough again I have to spend some time getting one done.
Mine so far end up too jerky. :)

Maureen Lang

Thanks for the link- really good animation of that loop. BTW, is the forum that you moderate?

John Minnerath

No, I'm just a member. Stephen Ramsden has done a great job there of bringing together Solar imagers and observers.
I'm one of the moderators here,
a small general interest amateur astronomy forum.

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