Short’s World – April

As stated before, the NEAS has begun to be active in solar monitoring. On what became a warm and bright day in March an equipment and technique trial was undertaken.  The Sun was not particularly active (see photo at right) however two small sunspot groups were visible and  a sunspot number of 30 was estimated.  White light observing via the Williams Optics telescope (WITH FULL APERTURE SOLAR FILTER) was addressed along with limited Hα observing via the Lunt LS60.  Alas the projection screen was seen to require a little modification (well quite a lot really) to allow operation with the WO telescope so sunspot drawing and location confirmation (position on the sun) must await another day.

Note: Our new VLF radio receiver equipment has arrived allowing, when configured, the NEAS to measure the impact of solar flares on the Ionosphere through the monitoring of perturbations on a carrier wave signal.

Moving across the pond I was once again in the USA and had the opportunity to visit an Observatory and Science Complex – details of the visit will await the next newsletter. however at the site a large variant Coronado PST (40mm not the standard 29mm) was set up for Hα viewing.  The sun, even in Hα light, clearly showed a large sunspot group on its surface together with two scar filaments.

In addition, on show was a handy white-light observing piece of kit – the “Sunspotter” ; an easy to set up and self contained viewing aid giving a 3.5inch wide image of the sun.  Unfortunately it costs around $350 so if any member feels rich at the moment…

As stated the above solar viewing took place at a large Observatory and science centre in the USA.  I’ll cover my time there next month but your challenge is to place it on the map before then.  My clue is a late afternoon photograph of the view from the centre below.

That’s all for now. Neil.

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Posted on 30 April, 2010, in Astronomy News, Popular Science, Society News and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Short’s World – April.

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