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A Bald Sun (almost)

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A Bald Sun (almost)

At first glance today I thought I had a zero count , but on closer inspection I found a faint 3 spot group( I was using a 80mm refractor at x100 viewed by projection)

Surely this has to be abnormal at this stage of the cycle !

LKR's picture
Glad I wasn't the only one doing a double take

Through thin cirrus here only saw one spot.

One hemisphere of the sun is usually calmer than the other! The good news is that the other side will rotate into view before we get too bored ;)



WWJ's picture
The Unblemished Disc




Yes; I was observing yesterday, ( Sept 9th 11.00 UT). The Solar disc appeared, to me, unmarked. My 16x80 binocs – full aperture filters - failed to resolve the small spot in the s/f quadrant.


Rather beautiful, I always feel, blank discs. Akhenaten would have approved, and certainly, Plato!

LKR's picture
astronomy as poetry (or nursery story)

Very well said.

On a related (but much less poetic) note, many years ago during a particularly low solar minimum my observational astronomy class failed to see even a single spot for several months (we could only observe the sun during the two daytime class periods a week and of course only when it was clear). The students were beginning to think I was either hallucinating or incompetent. It was that semester that the sun's image as seen through the Thousand Oaks filter was dubbed "Winnie the Pooh's butt" by my students (based on the color). I was never so happy as the day we finally saw a meager spot. The students were, as you might guess, not nearly as excited as I was.

I expect this semester's students to see a much better display :)


Kris Larsen

WWJ's picture
The Horizon of the DIsc.




A new spot this morning; S/p (12.00UT). for your students, Kristine. Perhaps the grouping AAP identified yesterday evening?


My Orion filters give a nice yellow image; proper to a G2V star, and not at all “butt” coloured! Optimum conditions allow viewing of the “orange peel effect”. I guess the modest magnification of the binoculars facilitates this. Definitely a globe, rather than a disc.


HRHA's picture
Solar cycle 24 considered a weak solar cycle?

Here's poster (attached .pdf) from Bill Denig et al. of NOAA/NGDC that predicts that this solar cycle is going to be weak, perhaps like the ones 100 years ago. 

Even if there are NO sunspots on the sun, it's really important to submit those observations!


Bartha Lajos
Bartha Lajos's picture

On the 10th Sept.: It's an impossibile solar maximum: I observed the Sun with small or greater telescope (from 2 inch to 8 in) from the year 1949, but don't remember, that during the maximum-time I looked only one single spot on the solar disc! Similar deep max: 1805, 1816, 1829, and 1883, 1894, 1906. - Lajos Bartha, Budapest (Hu).

LKR's picture
Chicken Little syndrome

After the New York Times did a recent article on the minimum maximum I got a call from a local radio station morning show to do a live interview on what it all means. Amazing how they try to hype up what is naturally a fascinating topic (even without the extra hype)!



HNL's picture
Lack of sunspots

Hi:  Heads up for the the sun. I have noticed in my own little world locally that the sun is getting a lot of media attention.  Perhaps, it might in your part of the world. Find articles so that others may get to read them.  Post where to find them.  Copywrite problems are always a problem. Here are two that I just found.  Wall Street Journal, U.S. News Page A3. Monday, November 2013 Strange Doings on the Sun.  ------Science News Magazine. November 2,2013 Cover article.  Page 2, Editor's note. Don't be Grumpy.  Page 22, Same issue, Quiet Maximum by Alexandra Witze.  Thank the sun for our daily bread and Make it happy.  Use this informaton to make a school project. I guess I always was a Sun Worshipper. 

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