Monroe's Blog

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


Welcome to Monroe's blog

This is the first posting to my new blog. I decided to add a text and commentary section to my website, so here it is. I don't have any structured plans for this section. I'll post things of interest to me and my family, interesting stories, astronomy things, and anything else that comes to mind. Maybe in the future I'll develop more of a structure as I figure out what I've got, but for now, let's just get started.

My first post is a description of some solar astronomy I did last weekend (May 14, 15).
With all the talk of solar flares on Friday, May 13th, I set up my Coronado Personal Solar Telescope (PST) on the back deck Saturday morning (May 14th), hoping to see my first flare.

I did not see any flares, but I did get to see the development of two large prominences.
They were fairly close to each other, about 40 degrees apart on the solar disk. At 7:30 AM EDT, one was very bright, and it looked like a letter "T". The second, which was about 40 dergrees counterclockwise from the first, was wispier, with material apparently streaming in the direction of the first (clockwise).

As the day progressed, the first prom seemed to detach from the surface. A thin, straight line connectedf it to the disk. It also formed two little "arms", pointing counterclockwise. By noon, it was completely detached. The little arms continued to grow and brighten, until the detached area looked like a ghost, or maybe a squid. By 4:00 PM it had flattened out, but was still detached. When I came back at 5:05, it was completely gone. Turning the tuner ring did not show it either.

The second, wispier prom, looked like a loop at times. The wispy area pointing clockwise remained visible most of the day. By mid morning the prominence had an "X" shape. Small detached cloud-like areas appeared between this prom and the first one. One or two small areas were visible most of the afternoon.

On Sunday, when I took a peek around 8 AM, neither big prom was visible. A few small, hair like ones were seen, but nothing as large and active as yesterday.


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