seeing colors with white light filters

Tue, 12/02/2014 - 01:30

There is a question about if you see colors of active regions on the sun is this a real phenomena?

This is not a new question, Harry Bondy (Solar Bulletin editor) in 1962 put forward some arguments about this topic and a historical perspective.  See the attached pages from his post.  

Have you seen any of the colors when viewing the sun with a white light filter?  Have you seen any other colors?



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American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
seeing colors with white light filters


Well, I guess this is my question, and I think I have asked the solar observers about it before.  I have seen color with a white light filter many times: a Baader full aperture filter as well as with a mylar filter.  The color I see most often has been green and in fact the largest spot on the sun yesterday was very dark green, and has been since it's appearance.  I have had, I think, three times where the color red appeared (as a thin line, and much different than the diffuse appearance of green).  On those occasions, I was pretty freaked out to say the least that my filter must have a hole in it.  When I moved the tube of the scope around and repositioned the spot, the red remained.

Lest  you wonder if this is my imagination, I had a friend of my husband's in the observatory to look at the sun with me and as I focused the sun and noticed it green around an active region, I asked him to look at the spots (for the first time in his life) and describe to me what he saw.  He also described the diffuse green around the area of the sunspot.  I was pretty pleased to hear him describe what I saw.

I have also coordinated the times of color with flare activity on the sun, contrary to what this paper indicates.

I observe the sun with a 6" refractor.

Susan Oatney (OATS/A125)