Well, Sting (from The Police) may have sung "There's a little black spot on the Sun today", but that was far from the truth today. Several large groups (AR 1861, 1864, 1865) have rotated into view and, one of them, AR1865, according to spaceweather.com, "harbors energy for X-class flares." I mentioned this group to a colleague recently, when AR1865 was still on the limb. I'lll be watching these groups closely, weather permitting, of course. Observed from Woburn Hilton parking lot during a coffee break at the AAVSO Fall Meeting. 1654UT.
Excuse me...but why all the excitement? A pretty group, but nothing out of the ordinary. Opening line – not understood - “Police”...”Sting”?
Do you keep a regular watch on The Sun, Larry? Have another cup of coffee.
Sting was the lead singer for a British rock group called The Police, popular during the 1980s. I was quoting the opening line to one of their songs, "The King of Pain". Guess it was too obscure. Appropriate, though.
After a brief period of little to no spots, I thought it was exciting to see several active regions make an appearance. Not unusual for solar max, I realize, but refreshing during this rather weak solar cycle, wouldn't you agree?
Whenever possible, I observe the Sun on every clear day.
I don't drink coffee. It constricts blood vessels, which can make visual observing difficult.
I didn't think there was any sun available today. Sorry, but on the way to the meeting My car died. I am now home. So, Rodney Howe I won't be there. Best and have a good time without me. Best HNL
Well ... I understood the Sting reference :) Thanks for the enthusiasm Larry and the video link Salvador. I haven't done any solar observing for a while but I may get out and have a look today (projected image on a big piece of white cardboard of course!).
I'm glad someone let us know - I have given up on checking the Sun. There was a heck of a nice group three or four months back, though the magnetic fields in it never got too complex. If it is clear tomorrow I may get out there and look.
Check out "King of Seude" by Al Yankovic if you get the chance.
HI: Sun is getting lower each day. Now in the trees at my observing site. I wasn't certain if anyone was still monitering. I felt earlier in the 24th cycle that maybe it was exciting just to be alive to see the Maximum be like a Minimum. Thanks for the activity. Cycle 25 may be even lower. But, that is another 11 or 12 years. Just think! It might be safe for unmanned and manned flight to reach Mars safely. So, it goes. Maybe we will be the next Martians and--will we adapt. Dreaming. HNL
Before this topic concludes, it's worth pointing out that The AAVSO has an “in house” solar section. Reading through the thread I get the impression that some of us are not aware of this!
Also, we're not dependant on “clear skies” to keep pace with solar events. Until just recently, before the US government ran out of cash, we had the benefit of “The Solar Dynamics Observatory”, which was putting out updated images on a half hourly basis: no one needs to be ignorant about what's going on, as implied in some of the contributions.
Whilst the government's sorting out the nations finances, I'd recommend the Canadian Website “Solar Ham” - almost as good...and solvent!
One final point. Forget projection ( Paul, take note). Quaint! And aesthetically unsatisfying. Big, stand mounted binoculars, plus full aperture filters. You'll never look back.
Hi: Well. I have tried to keep up with the solar cycles since doing my introduction with the Astronomical League instructions and their programs. In fact I got number 6 when they first started the "get your certificate program". My only problem is when doing sunspots with remote telescopes. I always wondered when you download an image can you use the image in your analysis. The Public observatory project has solar viewing and actually imaging on that day. But, they technically belong to Smithsonian. I was always under the impression that I was to (only) use my own observations through my own Solar scope in my own yard. Anybody for thoughts on this issue.
I prefer www.swpc.noaa.gov (currently barely running due to the government situation) and http://bbso.njit.edu for keeping track of the Sun. Also, the Australian site http://www.ips.gov.au/Space_Weather is very nice. Also there is http://spaceweather.sansa.org.za/ in South Africa. Mount Wilson is at http://obs.astro.ucla.edu/intro.html
Most images I look at these days are not in visible light and it is not too apparent how much there is to see with a filtered down telescope or even a PST. Also, most of the data is from GOES or SOHO or ACES so you get the same thing no matter where you look for it, though the Big Bear site above has original images and Mount Wilson has a daily drawing in visible light!
I can't imagine counting sunspots these days. I really don't see the point, except for personal reasons. GW
Your visual observations are very important to the scientific community, and are used in calculating the American Realtive index, which goes back to 1944. The AAVSO data are being requested by scientists working on reconstruction of the international sunspot index:
We would prefer that you not use other web posted images for counting groups and sunspots, but that whenever there are clear skys to observe with your white light filtered telescope.
It is especially important to log your data in the SunEntry database on those days where there are NO sunspots. Your daily submissions count toward spotless days! Very important!
Solar Bulletin editor and chair
I'm going to echo Rodney on his invitation to continue your solar observations. Whether it's via projection or direct viewing with a proper solar filter, as Rodney says, you can log your data in the SunEntry database and contribute to real science!
The Solar Observing Section of the AAVSO is not only a great way to learn more about how to safely observe our closest star, but also an opportunity to learn more about other AAVSO observing sections via the AAVSO website: www.aavso.org.
Don't miss the chance to help scientists uncover the mysteries of the Universe!