Jan 22, 2012

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 !!

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