Sunshine Coast Centre RASC

Solar Spicules

Taking advantage of good daytime seeing again for some close-up observing of the sun! This image was taken of the Chromosphere on July 25th at about noon and gives a close-up of the dancing, swirling Spicules that rise up from the Photosphere. This image is of an area above a decaying active region, the Photosphere details are being hidden behind the dense blanket of spicules.

The image was taken with a Hydrogen alpha filter, on a monochrome camera and coloured later.


Active Region AR3062

The plasma that we see as the “surface” of the sun is actually in constant motion, creating complex magnetic fields and structures as it swirls and bubbles. When these magnetic fields become especially strong an active region (AR) develops, they are temporary, major ones are assigned a number by solar astronomers. Many solar events – solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CME) – are associated with these active regions. The number and location of active regions on the solar disk at any given point in time is dependent on the position in the solar cycle and we have been seeing quite a few in recent months.

I took this image of the solar chromosphere in H alpha on July25th with the club Quark unit, it is of AR3062. Richard separately estimated the diameter of the sunspot alone as over 12,000 km, about the same size as Earth.

Solar Prominences

During the last few days of clear skies the sun has been a rewarding place for daytime astronomers to view. This group of prominences was captured on Wednesday using the Quark Hα through a 75mm energy reduction filter.
The faint rings visible in the sky background are the dreaded “Newtons rings”, they are created by reflections within the camera/lens optical system and are often encountered in solar imaging. Applying a flat to the image during processing or even tilting the camera very slightly during image capture would have allowed me to deal them, but unfortunately I didn’t see them when capturing the image!


Meetings resume in September

The club will resume our regular “second Friday” meetings in September.

Please check back here for details closer to the date.

Announcing the June Meeting

The presentation at our June meeting will be “Ancient Skies Through Modern Eyes: Some Constellations as Viewed by Cultures Around the World… and Things You Can View There”.

Our member, Charles Ennis, will introduce us to the launch of the RASC World Asterisms Project by showing you a couple of constellations, not the way you’ve seen them before, but as seen by people of other cultures. Charles will then take us on a star-hopping expedition through a different set of asterisms to see star clusters, nebulae, and asterisms in a way we’ve probably never imagined.

We will also have “show and tell” demonstrations from Richard, Bill and Michael of the different equipment they use to view the sun. We will have a chance to handle the equipment and have our questions answered by the owners.

The meeting will be held at the Sechelt library on June 10th, starting at 7pm. The meeting will also be accessible via Zoom:

Meeting ID: 899 0833 7675
Passcode: 126669

The Image below is the Coathanger asterism, from APOD -NASA

Sunspot AR3014

Sunspot AR3014 is one of the largest sunspots in years. Stretching more than 125,000 km from end to end, its length is almost 1/3rd of the distance from Earth to the Moon. This image was taken in B&W last week with a 127mm refractor and I recoloured it. Michael

May Meeting – LIGO

Bruce will be describing the visit that he and Charles made to the Laser Gravitational Wave Interferometer (LIGO) facility in Washington State. We’ll also be hearing Richard describe his experiences in using his Stellina automated telescope and showing us some images.

The meeting will be held at the Sechelt library on May 13th, starting at 7pm. The meeting will be held at the Sechelt library on May 13th, starting at 7pm. The meeting will also be accessible via Zoom:

April Meeting – Using Stellarium

Join us at the Sechelt Library on April 8 at 7 PM
First In-person Astronomy Club Meeting in Two Years!
All vaccinated persons welcome. 
Please bring a mask in case the persons near you would prefer you use one.
Enjoy coffee and cookies with us

Charles Ennis will present a tutorial on the use of Stellarium–one of the most versatile and realistic simulations of the night sky available as a free download from the internet. If you are an expert in Stellarium–Help others learn.
If you have used Stellarium before–Learn new features you haven’t discovered.  Help others learn.
If you have never used Stellarium–Learn how to use the program and what it can do to help you learn about the night sky

If you can, please bring a laptop with Stellarium on it.  There are versions for Mac, Windows and Linux operating systems available.  Just Google “Stellarium download”.  It’s free.
If you cannot bring a laptop, come anyway.  There will be others with laptops.
If you cannot come we plan to use Zoom to simultaneously share Charles’ presentation over the internet.

Bruce will be doing his regular Sky this Month presentation.  Michael Bradley will be doing a short introductory lesson on filters–with special emphasis on how filters can enhance visual astronomy (as opposed to astrophotography).

Check here closer to the meeting date for the Zoom link if you don’t plan to attend in person.

March Meeting – Serendipity in Science

March 11th, Sunshine Coast Astronomy Club, Zoom meeting, presented by Michael Bradley

The Oxford English Dictionary defines Serendipity as “the faculty of making happy and unexpected discoveries by accident.” But is this really true? Louis Pasteur was closer to the truth when he said “Chance favours the prepared mind”.

In this presentation, club member Michael Bradley will cover some examples of serendipitous discoveries from history and from various branches of science, including astronomy, physics, medicine. We’ll look into what common features many of these discoveries shared. We will also take a look at the future for Serendipity in a world of where Artificial Intelligence is increasingly driving the discoveries in many fields.

The monthly club meeting will held on March11th starting at 7pm.

This meeting will be conducted over Zoom, the link will be posted here and on our Facebook page.

Join Zoom Meeting Friday, March 11 at 6:45 PM.  The meeting starts at 7:00 PM.

Meeting ID: 899 0833 7675

Passcode: 126669

N.B. This presentation will not be included in the monthly meeting video posted to the Club Facebook page.

Quadrantid meteor

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