Thursday, April 14, 2016

Big sunspot possibly visible to the properly shielded naked eye

As of 13 April 2016, there's an exceptional sunspot visible. The usual caveats apply: never look at the sun without a proper sun filter over your eyes, binoculars, or telescope, but if you see the sun rise or sun set naturally shielded by fog, you may get a glimpse of the sunspot. Do so only if the sun is very dim.

Here are some photos taken with a 3-inch telescope with a white light solar filter:

Here's a close-up from the above photo. I sharpened the image in Photoshop. It looks like a heart or a silhouette of an affectionate embrace. Through the eyepiece, where the image was flipped in one axis, it looked like the British Isles.

I did try for an unfiltered shot of the sun yesterday when the fog was allowing for naked-eye views. But the trees dominated and gave the sun what looks to me like the face of a lion: