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All observing logs that mention sunspot 866

2006-04-05


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-04-05 13:20 UT
To: 2006-04-05 13:24 UT
Equipment: Naked Eye
Solarscope
Temperature: 12.3C ...
Dew Point: -2.5C ...
Humidity: 36% ...
Wind Speed: 7.2mph ...
Wind Dir: North ...
Pressure: 1014.7hPa ...
Notes:

Very clear day, hardly a cloud in the sky, bit breezy. I was a little short of available time but decided to do a quick sunspot count with the Solarscope.

Sun

From: 2006-04-05 13:20 UT
To: 2006-04-05 13:24 UT

With the Solarscope I could see that the main spot in area 865 had developed quite a bit from my last observation two days ago; it almost looked like it was trying to split four ways. There was an obvious single split in the spot (making it two spots for counting purposes, I think) but the bigger half appeared to be splitting three ways.

Areas 866 and 867 were still nicely visible and appeared to be developing some more. New area 868 was also visible.

In total I counted 15 spots in 4 active areas.

Unfortunately, yet again, I didn't have the time to make a sketch.

Using eclipse shades I was able to see the main spot in area 865 with the naked eye.


2006-04-03


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-04-03 14:25 UT
To: 2006-04-03 14:30 UT
Equipment: Naked Eye
Solarscope
Temperature: 12.4C ...
Dew Point: 0.7C ...
Humidity: 45% ...
Wind Speed: 7.9mph ...
Wind Dir: West ...
Pressure: 1016.2hPa ...
Notes:

Partly cloudy, quite breezy afternoon. Some moments of clear sunshine between the clouds. Got the Solarscope out to have a quick look at the Sun. It was hard to make a really good observation as the wind kept blowing the Solarscope around.

Sun

From: 2006-04-03 14:25 UT
To: 2006-04-03 14:30 UT

With the Solarscope I could see that area 865 had developed some more on yesterday. I counted fewer obvious spots but cloud see significant dark lines.

Area 866 seemed a little more developed and area 867 seemed to have developed a second spot.

Using eclipse shades I was able to see the main spot in area 865 with the naked eye.

Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-04-03 19:05 UT
To: 2006-04-03 20:07 UT
Equipment: Antares 905
Temperature: 7.4C ...
Dew Point: -0.9C ...
Humidity: 56% ...
Wind Speed: 1.1mph ...
Wind Dir: West North West ...
Pressure: 1017.3hPa ...
Notes:

Reasonably clear night, just the odd cloud floating about, quite breezy with the occasional strong gust. Waxing crescent Moon. Although the Sun hadn't long set and the sky was still quite light I decided to take the 905 outside and set it up with a view to having a look at the Moon — this would also give me the chance to get the finder aligned.

Further testing of the Antares 905

From: 2006-04-03 19:05 UT
To: 2006-04-03 20:07 UT

Spent a little time setting up the 905 and aligning the finder using the Moon as the target. Once that was done I settled down to look at the Moon with the 6mm eyepiece (which I'd finished up with in the holder during the alignment process). The detail along the terminator was excellent, very sharp and no hint of any false colour. Along the limb facing the Sun a lot of violet flare was visible, not so much to be annoying or a problem but it was very noticeable.

Something I was starting to notice was that the gusts of wind were causing a fair bit of vibration in the 'scope. I don't know if it's the mount or the tripod that's the problem (possibly both) it's obvious that this is more of a fair-weather setup or, if it were to be used for critical observations in windy conditions something would have to be done to firm it all up.

Had a look at Saturn next. Even though conditions weren't ideal, seeing wasn't that good and vibrations in the 'scope weren't helping, banding could be seen on the planet and the Cassini Division kept popping in and out of view.

I spent a fair bit of time watching Saturn, it was quite something to see the detail pop in and out of view as conditions improved and then got worse.

Using the 32mm eyepiece I went back to have a nice, wide-field view of the Moon. The flare on the sunward limb was very obvious (but, again, not distracting) and I also noticed that as I moved my eye closer to the eyepiece the flare appeared violet yet when I moved further back from the eyepiece it became obviously yellow. I'm not surprised by any of this, it is to be expected. Like I say above, it isn't at all distracting and lunar observing isn't the main intended use for this 'scope — I purchased it more for cluster observing and things like that.

Couple of things of note during the evening (not via the 'scope): the Moon was very close to Mars and Elnath. In fact, when I first stepped out and the sky was still light enough that only the very brightest stars were visible I thought the Moon was close to Castor and Pollux. It was only as the sky got darker that I realised that I'd been a little disoriented due to Mars' position.

The other thing I noticed during the evening was how many satellites I saw. During most of the winter months (not that I've been out that much this last winter) I don't recall seeing many satellites at all (other than the ISS) — this makes sense of course and the fact that I saw so many during this little session shows that days are getting longer.

By 20:07 UT the sky was getting very hazy and the gusts of wind were making it harder to view much though the 'scope. That, and the fact that I had a streaming nose due to a cold, meant that I packed up. A short session, but a worthwhile one in that it was another useful test of the 905.

I'm still pleased with the purchase.


2006-04-01


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-04-01 16:00 UT
To: 2006-04-01 16:06 UT
Equipment: Naked Eye
Solarscope
Temperature: 13.4C ...
Dew Point: 6.0C ...
Humidity: 61% ...
Wind Speed: 2.6mph ...
Wind Dir: South West ...
Pressure: 1001.0hPa ...
Notes:

Reasonably clear day, little cloud to get in the way of viewing the Sun. This was a relatively late observation due to the fact that I'd not had a chance to observe earlier in the day.

Sun

From: 2006-04-01 16:00 UT
To: 2006-04-01 16:06 UT

With the Solarscope I could see that area 865 had developed even more. I could count 8 spots in the group. The penumbra of the main spot had developed some more over yesterday.

The main spot in area 866 had now developed a visible penumbra and I could also see a second spot associated with it. Since making that observation I've found out that the second spot is actually part of a new active area (area 867).

Unfortunately I didn't have the time to make a sketch.

Using eclipse shades I was able to see the main spot in area 865 with the naked eye.


2006-03-31


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-03-31 11:35 UT
To: 2006-03-31 12:00 UT
Equipment: Naked Eye
Solarscope
Temperature: 16.6C ...
Dew Point: 5.1C ...
Humidity: 47% ...
Wind Speed: 1.7mph ...
Wind Dir: West ...
Pressure: 1001.4hPa ...
Notes:

Breezy, partly cloudy day but with the Sun showing for long enough between clouds to make a sunspot count worthwhile.

Sun

From: 2006-03-31 11:35 UT
To: 2006-03-31 12:00 UT

With the Solarscope I could see that area 865 had developed a fair bit. The main spot now had a very obvious penumbra and I could count five other spots (making six in total for the active area).

Area 866 still only had the one spot and still had some brighter areas visible around the spot.

I had a quick look at the Sun through a pair of eclipse shades and was a little surprised to see that the main spot in area 865 was visible to the naked eye.

I then made a sketch of the Sun, as seen via the Solarscope. I finished it around 11:55 UT.

The Sun


2006-03-29


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2006-03-29 09:45 UT
To: 2006-03-29 11:20 UT
Equipment: Naked Eye
Solarscope
Temperature: 12.4C ...
Dew Point: 3.5C ...
Humidity: 56% ...
Wind Speed: 1.3mph ...
Wind Dir: West ...
Pressure: 1003.5hPa ...
Notes:

Attempt to observe the partial solar eclipse (which was total in parts of Africa, Asia and Europe). Weather was less than ideal. Despite the day starting totally clear conditions were more or less overcast by the time of first contact.

Partial Solar Eclipse

From: 2006-03-29 09:45 UT
To: 2006-03-29 11:20 UT

At the time of first contact the Sun wasn't visible. I got my first glimpse of the Sun, with the naked eye via a pair of eclipse shades, at 09:51 UT. At this point I couldn't make out any hint of the Moon in front of the Sun.

At 09:54 UT I managed to catch a better view of the Sun and, this time, the Moon was visible. The cloud was starting to thin out a little so at this point I got the Solarscope out and set it up ready in case I could get a view through it.

Around 10:00 UT I finally got a good view of the Sun via the Solarscope and I managed to take a quick image with the camera in my mobile phone:

View of the partial eclipse

Around this time I also noticed that active area 865 (which I first noticed yesterday) had appeared to develop a second spot and that there was another spot visible, further away towards the trailing limb of the Sun, and that this appeared to be part of a different active area (later checking confirmed that this was a separate area with ID 866 ).

By 10:10 UT I'd lost any view of the Sun and could see that the cloud was getting thicker all the time. At 10:15 UT I packed up the Solarscope and table but kept them close to hand on the off chance that a hole might appear. It never did.


Page last modified: 2013-04-09 09:19:19 UT
Dave Pearson <davep@davep.org>
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