Summer Sun Surprises: A Sunspot Cluster Bigger Than Earth

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من طرف menarate

As summer begins astronomers have discovered a group of unusual sunspots of a size bigger than that of Earth. 

A cluster of sunspots titled AR 2546 was detected on May 22 with a help of telescope Sky Watcher BKP  2008 HEQ5 SynScan PRO and could be visible even with a naked eye when using safelight filters.   


After 44-fold magnification the clusters located to the west of the central solar disk became visible in details: a huge single dark spot surrounded by a less dark penumbra. A central shadow had prominent jagged edges extending over the half-shade while the penumbra had an oval shape. A prominent solar granulation was observed over the whole solar disk with a smaller group of sunspots detected in the eastern part. This group looked like a lighter areas of fibrous markings across the edge of the solar disk. The main group consisted of 7 separate sunspots formulating the huge penumbra-surrounded spot.

The Sun on May 22, 2016. Telescope SKY WATCHER BKP 2008 HEQ5 SynScan PRO, photocamera Canon EOS 1100D, prime focus, aperture filter 200mm Baader Planetarium AstroSolar. Time exposure 1/1600, ISO - 100. Composition of 87 photos in Registax 5.1, post-processing in Digital Photo Professional.

Sunspot cluster AR 2546. Telescope SKY WATCHER BKP 2008 HEQ5 SynScan PRO, photocamera Canon EOS 1100D, Barlow Celestron 2X- T adapter, aperture filter 200mm Baader Planetarium AstroSolar+Celestron No.12 "Yellow", 1.25''. Time exposure 1/800, ISO - 400. Composition of 140 photos in Registax 5.1, post-processing in Digital Photo Professional.

When the spot area was 100-fold and 133-fold magnified a group of multiple smaller spots was observed. Light filter Baader Solar Continium allowed to get more details both for main spot and smaller dots. 

The Sun on May 22, 2016. Telescope SKY WATCHER BKP 2008 HEQ5 SynScan PRO, photocamera Canon EOS 1100D, Barlow Celestron 2X- T adapter, aperture filter 200mm Baader Planetarium AstroSolar+Celestron No.12 "Yellow", 1.25''. Time exposure 1/800, ISO - 400. Composition of 150 photos in Registax 5.1, post-processing in Digital Photo Professional.

Sunspot cluster, May 22, 2016. Telescope SKY WATCHER BKP 2008 HEQ5 SynScan PRO, photocamera Canon EOS 1100D, Barlow Celestron 2X- T adapter, aperture filter 200mm Baader Planetarium AstroSolar+Celestron No.12 "Yellow", 1.25''. Time exposure 1/800, ISO - 400. Composition of 150 photos in Registax 5.1, post-processing in Digital Photo Professional.

Sunspots are dark areas on the sun surface with a temperature lower at approximately 1500 K in comparison with surrounding areas. These areas are the source of strong magnetic fields and their number is one of the main indicators of solar phenomena.

Biggest sunspot was observed on March 30, 1947 – its area outreached the surface of the Earth in 36 times.

Source: astrobel.ru

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