Activity Heating Up on the Sun!


The summer Sun (for us in the northern hemisphere) is getting active! Here are images and videos of recent activity, which include sunspots and an M-class flare. Above is a close-up look at four active regions taken by César Cantú from the Chilidog Observatory in Monterrey, Mexico.

Below, see a strong but brief M9-class solar flare which occurred on July 31, 2011 from Active Region 1261, captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory. Scientists from SDO say that because it was brief it appears not to have hurled a large coronal mass ejection (CME) outwards.

The Sun in four different wavelengths. Credit: César Cantú from the Chilidog Observatory. Click for larger version.

Here’s a comparative look at the sunspots from August 1, 2011, taken by César Cantú from the Chilidog Observatory in Mexico. “Taking advantage of the program that I could attach Lucam Recorder in AVI (video) different bands of light, here is this comparative look in negative, white light, the calcium band and hydrogen-alpha band,” said Cantú. He used a 90 Coronado telescope and camera with dual ektalon DMK41.

See more at the Chilidog Observatory website, Astronomía Y Astrofotografía.

Here’s a video clip from SDO showing an interesting alignment of three good-sized sunspot groups that appear to be marching across the Sun, taken July 28-29, 2011.

See more, and keep up with all the activity on the Sun at the SDO website.

Awesome Astrophotos: A Negative Sun


Here’s an unusual if not stunning way to look at the Sun: César Cantu from the Chilidog Observatory in Mexico has taken a few images of the Sun, and reversed the colors, or made a negative. This increases the contrast and allows structures to be seen — or at least stand out — that otherwise are not visible.

“The picture is made under normal procedure,” César tells us. He creates an Avi file, then reverses the colors, and also applies false color, leaving the sky to look blue and the Sun to yellow-orange and the chromosphere as red. “This is to delight the author!” César says.

The solar prominences, in all sorts of shapes and sizes, really stand out.

Below, you can see a comparison of “normal” image which has then been “negativised.”

A comparison between a regular and 'negative' image of the Sun. Cesar Cantu from Monterrey, Mexico, and the Chilidog Observatory. Click for high resolution version

Thanks to César for sharing his stunning images. See more at his website, Astronomía Y Astrofotografía.