Sunday 23 October 2011

Visible sunspots

The following mosaic was acquired on 14 October 2011 from ESAC with Michel's Celestron newtonian (1m focal, 20cm aperture) and a Baader film filter. Several sunspots groups (1314, 1316, 1317 and 1319) are visible in the image. Another smaller group is seen to the left of group 1319, but it quickly fainted in the following days. We named the group 1319 informally "the Canary Islands", due to the resemblance with the topography of these islands.

This other image was taken in H-alpha with the Solarmax Coronado and shows several dark filaments, along with the sunspots. This image can be compared with images on previous days (check this previous blog entry).

This last animation shows the position of the sunspots and other features in both visible and H-alpha wavelengths.

Sunday 16 October 2011

Meteor Showers

The following animation shows a faint meteor that I captured from Barcelona during the Draconid Meteor Outburst on October, 8th; 2011 at 20:49 UTC.

The Full Moon light and very high clouds disturbed seriously the observation of this meteor outburst. So, in one hour, I observed only 5 meteors and captured in video the one in the animation. As I was there 1 hour observing... it makes a rate of 1 moderately bright meteor each 10 minutes. Not optimal but at least in this event I observed more than one...

Reviewing my older meteor observation videos, I found this one captured during the 2004's Perseid meteor outburst. It shows a very bright meteor and its trail imaged from Majadahonda on August 12th, 2004 at 2:15 UTC.

Next meteor outburst are:
Orionids on October 21st with the Moon rising after midnight
Leonids on November 17th with the Moon rising around midnight
Geminids on December 13th with the Moon in justs past full

Friday 14 October 2011

Dust lanes in Andromeda

A small portion of the Andromeda galaxy (M31) showing dark dust lanes. The bulge and nucleus have been highly saturated with the chosen brightness scales. Stack of three exposures (total time 300 sec) and the usual equipment.

Thursday 13 October 2011

An active Sun

More H-alpha images of the Sun on 11th October 2011, taken from ESAC with the Solarmax Coronado scope.

An enormous prominence is seen on the top of the Sun limb. The inset shows a magnified image, using a 2x Barlow, with an Earth to scale for comparison. We imaged this feature for ~3h, but the sequence shows little variation of its visible shape. This is a quite stable prominence, at least compared to the highly dynamic prominence after the X1.4-class flare on Sep 22nd .

There are several sunspots visible, and some dark filaments. Other interesting prominences are seen, like a broccoli-shape one on the right of the image.

This big prominence on October 11th seems to have grown from the one observed on October 09th. It was not present anymore on 14th October, as displayed in this animation.

The Sun is keeping a high activity these last weeks.

Tuesday 11 October 2011

Dumbbell "revisited"

I have imaged again the Dumbbell nebula (M27) with the Orion Starshoot camera and my usual equipment. A single 120 sec unguided exposure with neither dark nor flat subtraction (but with the TEC switched on). I'm eagerly awaiting the opportunity to test my homemade autoguiding "gadget"!

Monday 10 October 2011

Sunday Sun

On Sunday 09 October, Leo, Michel and Miguel tried some auto-guiding set up. We took this composite (2 images) of the Sun in H-Alpha,using the Coronado Solarmax.

Tuesday 4 October 2011

Sunspot Group no.1302, 22 Sep 2011

Hydrogen Alpha image sequence of the sunspot group 1302 and the prominence associated with the X1.4 class solar flare which peaked around 11:00 UTC on September 22nd, 2011.

The images have been captured from ESAC, with a Coronado Solarmax 70 Telescope.

Time coverage: 11:07 UTC - 14:40 UTC
Rate: 1 frame/minute

Michel, Leo and Miguel, dismounting the telescope after observation.