Monday, July 7, 2014

Solar observation must be done in the sun, no exceptions

It was a hot, sunny day yesterday. Whimsically, I checked for sunspots with my Sun Spotter telescope. I had checked within the past week, so I wasn't expecting anything. However, a constellation of sunspots demanded my attention, so I set up the equipment for this photo.

I would have tried higher power magnification, but my equipment was getting hot to the touch.

The previous night I took my yearly light pollution monitoring photo. I try to capture the Milky Way from my backyard to verify that I can still do it and that protecting the night sky is still worthwhile in my community. My methods are inexact because I've switched from slide film to digital over the years, and I'm always dealing with variations in seeing conditions.

This time of year at 3:00am, the Milky Way rises straight up from the west and crosses the sky. This photo is a composite of two images from the morning of July 5.

This night was a bit humid, so the viewing was compromised by visible wispy clouds. I also tweaked the photos to enhance contrast. Directly overhead, I could see the Milky Way through Cygnus:

 However, once I turn northeast, the sky is heavily polluted:

The southwest, west, and overhead is our "Wildomar Window" and still worth protecting.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Isn't any portion of the sky worth protecting? It just gets harder, the more lights you have.