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On 10 April between 2:48 and 3:28 PM our members gathered at the SCC Observatory to witness the Moon occulting Aldebaran.
Our treasurer Bruce Fryer reports:
“My wife and I also enjoyed Sunday afternoon stargazing and getting a donor scope out of mothballs. The clouds cleared back, the sun shone warmly and then Aldebaran popped out from behind the moon—a tiny pinprick of light in the blue sky—only visible if you knew exactly where to look. Who would have thought! Thanks, Neil and the rest of the gang that came along.”
Our VP Mike Bradley used our Malincam to get this photo of the Sun. Mike reports:
“Here is an image of sunspot AR2529 taken on Sunday during the Moon/Aldebaran outing to the observatory.
‘Clouds made observing the occultation rather challenging, although David was skilled enough to be able to glimpse it. The rest of us spent time looking at the sun as well. The image here was taken through the Mallincam using a Mylar style filter on an ED80, as a 2 minute video and then stacked and colourised. If you have a suitable solar scope, this is a very impressive sunspot group, with definite umbra and penumbra features, it may have a few more days before it fades – so take a look.”
I took advantage of the clear skies yesterday to take an image of the large group of sunspots (AR2449) while it was still there. Unfortunately the group is very much smaller now than it was last week, but still made a nice image. Attached is a white light shot, taken in monochrome, then cropped and colourised. It was a stack of 300 images.
I decided to take the images from the observatory as the wide horizons make it possible to follow the sun at this time of year without worrying about it hiding behind trees, unlike at home in Roberts Creek!
The ancients were able to view sunspots by viewing the sun through smoke. Here member Bob Evermon has captured the sun through forest fire smoke with his Canon 250mm and you can see them for yourself. Bob later tried using the smoke again with his Skywatch at full power with the Canon SLR with adapters only using the Sechelt Forest Fire as a filter with the result below. NOTE: Don’t look at the sun without the correct protective filter!