Friday 9 March 2012

The active Sun Spot group AR1429

The Sun Spot group AR1429 is a very active sun region that has produced recently two major solar flares with coronal mass ejections: the first one was an X1-class on March 5th 04:13UTC, and the second, even more powerful, an X5-class on March 7th at 00:28 UTC.
Several spacecraft have been affected by the heavy radiation and unleashed wave of solar plasma and energetic particles. By example, the Star Tracker units of the probe Venus Express were blinded for 2 days due to the harsh plasma environment in the aftermath of the CME cloud shock wave.

The next images, taken from ESAC on March 10th, 2012, show the Sun in visible and H-alpha, highlighting the AR1429.

AR1429 sunspot group in visible light. Stacked sequence with a Phillips ToUcam webcam, and a Celestron C8" NGT scope with Baader filter.
Visible light. Canon 550D image with a Celestron C8" NGT scope with Baader filter.
H-alpha image. Canon 550D image with a Coronado Solarmax 70. Limb and disk are processed separately and merged into the final image.

The telescope set-up: Coronado Solarmax 70, Celestron Advanced GT mount, Phillips ToUcam webcam.