Jan 23, 2012

Impending solar storm 24th 25th

This from earthsky today...... Sunspot 1402 has spawned an M9 eruption on the sun at 03:59 UTC on January 23. It is now sending a stream of charged particles toward Earth – due to sweep past us tomorrow (January 24, 2012). Experts are saying it will be the strongest radiation storm since 2005. The eruption took place last night at 9:59 p.m. according to clocks in the central U.S........ Thats the top most storm in the sunspot photos posted below a bit...Oh boy here we go, this one looks the biz !!!

Jan 22, 2012


There is a good aurora tonight and there is still an hour or hour and a half untill maximum. The computer is so full that i cant squeeze another photo in and there is nothing left to delete. Its a bit of a bummer to say the least but we are goosed!!

Sun spotting

A while ago I saw a make your own sun filter advertised on ebay. In the past I have photographed eclipses with whatever I could find to use for a filter, things used have ranged from broken beer bottles and old welding goggles to a pair of sunglasses broken in half and doubled up. All of this produced mixed results and most of those were in the abysmal end of the range. This filter kit seemed like a nice cheap way to be able to observe sunspots as it came in at only twenty quid, although on arrival it transpires that all I receive is an A4 sheet of film and some instructions for construction. Undeterred I set to with the scissors glue and double sided sticky tape (I kid you not) Eventually I managed to cobble together something that approximated the instructions. Nothing goes to smoothly tho and true to form as the last bit of tape was being put in place and we were ready to go on the scope the sitting room fell into shadow as a large sleety rain cloud rolled across the horizon. This soon enough rolled away and the sun emerged ready for a view. It took a moment to find in the darkness but sure enough there it was, focusing up on it revealed spots in the upper right hand side with two separate huge storms both with numerous satellite spots and a cluster of smaller spots near by. It was very exciting viewing all be it over quickly as the clouds once again closed things down for a short while. Time now to get the Cannon out for a shot of didgiscoping. Although its pretty obvious it hadn’t struck me till now that the moon is the same size as the sun in the sky so getting detail from such small details as the sun spots with the spotting scope is going to be a bit of a challenge but we will see how it go’s. For now though im just looking forwards to seeing regular views of the increasingly active surface!! I should add I suppose that you would have to be some sort of dumb fuck to look at the sun with binoculars or a scope with out a proper filter so don’t do it…don’t even think about it cos it WILL blind you !!

Sunspot activity

Jan 15, 2012

Whale tooth

This is a tooth i found on the shore by the whale carcass at Sand geo today. Its a bit of a beast!!
As an update on this it turns out im wrong here and this is not a tooth but a phlange bone, part of a fin that would be a finger in mamals like us!....tooth indeed....slips away with a mild burn going on....

Jan 14, 2012

Blubber lover

Kumliens gull

Kumliens gull

Marwick madness

What a fantastic afternoon!! Marwick fishermens huts has to be the hottest white wing spot at the moment. Lying along the edge of the geo is the blubbery carcass of a long dead whale. This is drawing in the arctic gulls in like a magnet. Iceland and Glaucous were joined by far rarer Kumlien gull. With such a large amount of carrion there is little desire to flee being shown by the birds and at times it was hard to tell who was drooling the most the feasting gulls or the throng of birders atop of the adjoining cliff. After the disappointment of the heron not turning out to be American and a tick(interesting bird it is tho!) another tick has come along in the same week and with some assistance today I have seen my first Kumliens gull and boy was I chuffed!!. All this aside tho the bird to be looking for now has to be the Ivory gull. Shetland has records of them and im sure they have been seen over Caithness. With this massive southerly movement of arctic gulls that looks to be gaining momentum surely to goodness one or more will find its way here. Hopefully sand geo primed with whale carcass will provide a real opportunity to see one of these exciting gulls…good hunting!!

Jan 12, 2012

Blue news

The year has started well with an unprecedented numbers of white winged gulls scattered across the west side. The big news now will be the Great blue heron in Kirkwall if its confirmed!!!....

Jan 3, 2012

Shooting stars tonight and the morns night, should be one of the best falls of the year.