Amateur Captures Coronal Mass Ejection

by Tammy Plotner on October 14, 2011

Full DisK H-Alpha Solar Image on October 13, 2011 - Credit: Joe Brimacombe

While you can’t exactly call Joe Brimacombe an amateur astrophotographer, he’s managed to capture an elusive solar event on film… a coronal mass ejection!

A huge, conical-shaped magnetic prominence had been lingering for days and calling attention to itself. On the morning of October 13, 2011 – it delivered.

According to SpaceWeather, much of the prominence fell back to the solar surface, but some of the structure did fly into space, producing a coronal mass ejection. SOHO coronagraphs of the CME show that it is propagating up and out of the plane of the solar system and chances are good that no planet will be hit by the expanding cloud.

But that’s professional instruments! Imagine the excitement between 0200 and 0345 UT at Coral Towers Observatory when Joe was using either a Takahashi Sky 90 or Astrophysics 130 telescope to capture the action! Both telescopes operate at a focal ratio of F/5 and he was using a Coronado Solar Filter and various Skynyx cameras.

Doing what space telescopes do!

Many thanks to Joe Brimacombe for sharing his work – and passion – with us!

About 

Tammy is a professional astronomy author, President Emeritus of Warren Rupp Observatory and retired Astronomical League Executive Secretary. She’s received a vast number of astronomy achievement and observing awards, including the Great Lakes Astronomy Achievement Award, RG Wright Service Award and the first woman astronomer to achieve Comet Hunter's Gold Status.

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