Wednesday, July 25, 2012

BIG prominence on July 25-27, 2012

Large prominence, July 25 - 2012 (click for bigger view)
We are finally having some great summer weather in Denmark and I'm observing the Sun from our countryside house. This morning a pleasant surprise greeted me: one BIG prominence was hoovering above the Solar limb. Life is good!

(150mm refractor, Daystar H-alpha filter, Skynyx 2-2M camera)

Reprocessed version (click for bigger view)
UPDATE #1: I reprocessed the original image with an emphasis solely on the prominence and keeping the image monochrome. This enables a more dramatic representation of the prominence at the expense of its relationship with the chromo- and photosphere. Still - I like this image more.

The prominence on July 26th - it just got bigger!  (click for bigger view) 
UPDATE #2: On the following day, July 26th, the 'big' prominence just got bigger! It has also changed morphology quite a lot; the internal structure going from 'whispy' to 'clumpy' and the overall shape becoming more 'bridge-like'. Yesterday, the brightest portions were elevated above the Solar limb - today it has assumed the (more common) structure where the brightest portions are also the lowest. The picture to the right was acquired around 10.30am local time, where the Sun had attained a decent altitude (42 deg.) but before the atmospheric turbulence really got started. I tried again at 2pm (Solar altitude 53 deg) and the resulting images were less sharp. This is to be expected, since the image quality for high res Solar work is very much limited by thermally driven, atmospheric turbulence. What a beast! I can't wait to see what it has evolved into tomorrow.

July 27: Prominence has now diminished but has been joined by two others (click for a really big view).
UPDATE #3: On July 27th (the 16th marriage anniversary to Signe, my wonderful wife) the prominence had diminished in size. As a wonderful compensation for this it had been joined by two other impressive prominences. Each of these three were distinctly different: one was dense and bright while good ol' faithful was towering and clumpy, like yesterday. The last one was the most impressive: a very dynamic, stringy structure with a detached upper part. What a show! To capture the entire scene I had to stitch together two shots. Denmark is now due to experience a shift in weather, reverting to more cloudy and unstable conditions. The Solar imaging setup is packed up and ready to come back to Copenhagen next week when my vacation is over.
Here's what the solar imaging setup looks like - in action and packed up in our small VW.