Saturday, 16 November 2013

A plane crossing the Sun

A plane flying over the European Space Astronomy center, ESAC, in Madrid, was captured in this h-alpha image of the Sun, on 06-Nov-2013.

The images were acquired with a Coronado SolarMaxII-90 BF30 from the ESAC solar observatory Helios, by Elena Leiva. Real time solar images (weather permitting) are posted in

Sun explosion

The Sun delighted us on 06 November 2013 with a magnificent explosion. The material was ejected from a region close to the active sunspot, as shown on this h-alpha sequence of images.

The images were acquired with a Coronado SolarMaxII-90 BF30 from the ESAC solar observatory Helios, by Elena Leiva. Real time solar images (weather permitting) are posted in

Thursday, 14 November 2013

2013-11-13: Comet C/2012 S1 ISON

Yesterday, around 6:05 UTC, I imaged the comet ISON from Majadahonda. The fact that the magnitude was +8.5 together with the relative position of the comet at low altitude over Madrid City from Majadahonda . It difficulted seriously to image the tail of the comet. However, I obtained the following images in black and white and colour stacking around 20 pictures at exposures of 5 secs. The individual pictures were captured with a Canon 60Da DSLR camera through a C8 telescope working at F/10. The main elements of the coment are evident: the nucleus, the coma and the dust tail. The ion tail developed two days ago is not visible in the images.

As the comet is much brighter after the outburst of today (around +6.5),  weather permitting, I hope to have a better opportunity the coming days.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

2013-11-03: Solar Eclipse from Madrid and Bermuda Eclipse Intercept Flight

Few people of the club observed the hybrid solar eclipse of last week in different ways. Although only a small fraction of the eclipse was observed from Madrid, we were able to observe the eclipse despite of a persistent thick fog. Once it cleared I captured the following white light  image of the eclipse from Majadahonda at 12:45 UTC.  

At 13:53 UTC, Miguel Perez Ayucar and Elena Leiva captured this H-alpha image from ESAC. 

During the eclipse, Michel Breitfellnet captured the following image from the Quiron Hospital in Pozuelo where he was recovering from a surgery. He projected the Sun through a hole in a paper sheet and imaged it with a smart phone. At the moment, Michel is recovering at home. We are sure he will be back very soon.

Another different experience was the one enjoyed by Leo Metcalfe. He participated in an eclipse intercept flight from Bermuda and he captured the following image and video.

Information about the video is in the Leo´s channel in youtube and images of this experience are here. The APOD chosen for 2013-11-07 was captured in this flight.

2013-10-09/10: GRANTECAN - La Palma - Canary Islands

Thanks to a visitor observation time assigned to the team of Miguel Sanchez-Portal, we were fortunate to enjoy an observing night with the GRANTECAN 10.4 meter telescope in Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory (La Palma Island). The images and video shows the magic of this place for astronomy.

The following image is a false colour quick look of one of the observed objects: Abell370. A cluster of galaxies at 4775 Mly.

2013-08-09/15: Green Flashes from Sopelana, Bizkaia

The following green flashes were captured on 2013-08-09 and 2013-08-15 from Sopelana, Bizkaia with HDD video. 

It is a phenomenon between  fact and fiction popular by Jules Verne novels and northern legends. Actually it is an optical phenomenon caused by the atmospheric refraction of the last Sun rays before sunset. A short documentary describing both the history and science of this event is in the following video. 

This documentary of BBC Coast S07 E01 (on air on 2012-05-13) incoporates the Green Flash that I captured from the same place on 2008-08-17 to illustrate the observation of the event from the Western Islands, UK.