Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Photographing the Sun

Without much zoom the sun seems rather diffuse through the filter.
We just purchased a black polymer solar filter for our cameras as I have been wanting one for awhile. When we had a telescope years ago, we took some nice photos of sunspots (back in 2002.) But, the telescope was gifted to our nephew when he was a teenager.
Just a wee bit of zoom
Now, with more advanced digital cameras, we can more effectively use the solar filter. Our filter is very inexpensive. The hydrogen-alpha model of filter, that would allow us to see the swirling magnetic fields and gas loops, is mega bucks, so we'll be satisfied with this one.
The filter gives the sun an orange glow. Never, never, never photograph the sun without a filter.
Drew zoomed in a bit more. I think it is so fascinating that we can photograph something that is 93,000,000 miles away! Did you know that you could fit 1 million Earths inside the volume of the sun?
Click on the photo to see that the surface is not as smooth as you would think.
Remember that the sun's surface consists of plasma at super high temperatures with lots of magnetic fields.
Finally, he achieved maximum zoom to see the surface of the sun. As the sun is in Solar minimum, there are no sunspots. The next sunspot cycle will stretch from 2019-2030.

Click here to read an interesting article from the Huffington Post on the next sunspot cycle and solar maximum.
Photo through our telescope back in 2002.
And here is a sunspot photo we took through the telescope in 2002. We will be able to achieve that level of detail with our camera equipment, sans telescope, when the sunspots appear! Patience, grasshopper...patience...

But, Drew just told me that Mercury will transit the Sun on Nov. 11, 2019, so we are hoping for a sunshiny day in a little over a year for that event! Lots to look forward to! Check out the Time and website for more detailed information.

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