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Stephen Ramsden’s Corner

Visit Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project for everything solar, from reviews to imaging to outreach, and become a part of the solar community!

Thanks, Stephen, for all your hard work.

Image of the week

Here is the Solar Image of the Week.
Thanks to: Howard
Lunt Solar CaK Filter

A very nice image from Florida.

Real Time Images: The Very Latest from SOHO

SOHO, the Solar & Heliospheric Observatory, is a project of international collaboration between ESA and NASA to study the Sun from its deep core to the outer corona and the solar wind.

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The Sun is our Star!

.......and as you would expect, our Star is hot, bright, dynamic, and sometimes quite violent.

At 93 million miles away, we are ideally placed at a point where the Sun provides just enough warmth and energy essential to our living planet, Earth.

At only 93 million miles, the Sun is close enough for us to view its surface through a fairly inexpensive specialized scope from the comfort and relative safety (sunscreen, please) of our backyards on a clear and sunny day.

What! Astronomy during the day? Lunt Solar wants to show you how.

References

Prominences:
These look like eruptions from the edge of the Solar disk. Prominences can appear as small spiky-looking details, or large cloud-like detail with fine feather-like features. They are, in fact, ionized Hydrogen-alpha emissions being projected from the limb.

Prominences are anchored to the Sun's surface in the Mesosphere, and extend outward into the Sun's Troposphere. They typically measure many earth diameters.

Filaments:
Filaments are string-like features on the surface of the Sun. At high resolution they take on a 3D effect due to the cooler aspect of the suspended filament contrasted against the bright, hotter Sun.

Filaments are actually prominences being viewed against the surface.

Spicules
A Spicule is a dynamic jet of gas about 500km long. They move outward at about 20km/second through the Chromosphere.

Father Angelo Secchi of the Vatican Observatory discovered them in 1877.

The Chromosphere is entirely composed of Spicules. These features can be seen as "fur" around the edge of the disk.


There's definitely stuff to look at :)

Archive for the ‘solar system’ Category

July 2nd, 2011

Every year in June astronomers from across the southwest as flock to the north and south rims of the famous Grand Canyon.  The annual Grand Canyon Star Party (GCSP) is a star party dedicated to public outreach and education about preserving out precious night skies.  The event is held for eight nights during the new moon week of June; this provides an outstanding view of the heavens!  Visitors from around the world find themselves in a sea of glass and metal as they return from the famous canyon sunsets.

This year the GCSP: South Rim was held at the newly refurbished Visitor Center which is the main hub for anything on the south rim.  From here visitors can take several buses all across the southern rim, from Hermits Rest on the Western Rim to the famous Desert View Watch Tower on the Eastern rim.  This is certainly the place to been when trying to grab visitors!

The GCSP is mainly a night event, starting a 8pm with a talk into the visitor center’s auditorium then visitors are allows to wonder the forest of telescopes for the remainder of the evening.  This year the count was nearly 60 telescope, some as large as 28″!  While most astronomers ran deep into the night there were a few that caught the eye of the public during the day!

(Chris Palmer of the “Red Light District” (RLD) outreach team explains solar prominences to a group of tourists).

This year was quite impressive compared to years past, the amount of solar outreach during the day has grown.  This year several solar scopes were spotted all over the park.  Many of them are new to solar observing while others not so much.  The solar observers do a wonderful job at informing people about the evenings activities as well as educating them on our nearest star!  During the day some managed to talk to over 350 people during the four hour observing period!  Passers by were blown away by the views of erupting sun spots and flares!  One guest turned out to be a Solar Physicist who became quite impressed with the view through the Lunt LS100THa.

(Kevin LeGore of Lunt Solar Systems and Chris Palmer of the RLD show a UK Solar Physist the sun through the LS100THa).

As the days progressed the solar telescopes were moved to the main observing field to grab the last few hours of the sun before setting over the western horizon.  Several groups stopped by to take a look through the array of solar equipment from 40mm double stacked scopes to the 11″ white light telescope.  A large group from Asia stood in line for nearly a half hour, patiently awaiting their turn to see our star!

(Solar observers getting their last looks at the setting sun).

Solar astronomy is indeed an important part of astronomy outreach.  This aspect of astronomy can show the importance of solar energy and the impact that our sun has on our daily lives.  During the eight day event solar observers shared the sun with over a 1000 people!  Viewing the sun is something that very few ever have to chance to do and sharing it with someone is indeed an awesome experience.

The Grand Canyon Star Party will be back next year for its 22nd year from June 16-23.  A smaller event is possibly in the works for the May 20th eclipse next year as well!

 

June 21st, 2011

Check out this recently captured image of AR1236.  This image was captured by Howard Eskildsen using a LS B600 CaK module on a Orion 80ED refractor.  The CaK filters do an exceptional job for viewing the plage areas around the sunspot as it can clearly be seen in this image.  Another feature that is a little bit rarer is the “Light Brigde”.  The light bridge can be seen between the main sunspot, as small and slender white line dividing the sunspot.

Excellent job Howard!

Calcium K (Ca-K) Telescopes and Filters are used to study the wavelength of 393.4nm. This emission line is one of 2 that are produced by Calcium just at the edge of the visible spectrum in a layer that is slightly lower and cooler than the layer viewed in Hydrogen-alpha. The emission line displays areas of Super Granulation Cells that are brightest and strongest in areas of high magnetic fields such as sunspot activity and active regions. Having the ability to study the Calcium K and the Hydrogen-alpha line provides important insights into the structure, strength, and depth of these active regions.

The Calcium K line is centered at 393.4nm. This wavelength is considered to be slightly outside the visible spectrum on the UV side. While most people can visually see the violet color of the wavelength, many cannot resolve the contrast due to yellowing of the cornea. People who have had cataract surgery are often able to see considerable detail. But, it is for these reasons that the Ca-K line is typically studied via the use of cameras which are able to provide stunning details.

Internal narrowband filters allow for a <2.4 Angstrom bandpass. Primarily an imaging system due to the difficulty of many to visually see everything that CaK has to offer.

Delivered with order:
• Star Diagonal with T2 connection, for 2″ Focuser
• blocking filter B600 with IR and UV protection

Optional Accessories: (see “accessories“)

You may also be interested in: (see “merchandise“)

  • Lunt Solar Hat
  • Lunt Solar Polo or Tank Top Shirt

But there’s more……

The CaK Module is available in many optional variations, here are a few examples to aid in description and part numbers for pricing.

LS6CaKMDd2
* Calcium Module with B600 Blocking Filter – In star diagonal with T2 connection for telescopes up to 100mm aperture and 600mm focal length
Retail Price: US$599.00

LS6CaKMDd2
* Calcium Module with B600 Blocking Filter – In extension tube with T2 connection for telescopes up to 100mm aperture and 600mm focal length
Retail Price: US$599.00

LS12CaKMDd2
* Calcium Module with B1200 Blocking Filter – In star diagonal with T2 connection for telescopes up to 100mm aperture and 1200mm focal length
Retail Price: US$849.00

LS12CaKMDs2
* Calcium Module with B1200 Blocking Filter – In extension tube with T2 connection for telescopes up to 100mm aperture and 1200mm focal length
Retail Price: US$849.00

LS18CaKMDd2
* Calcium Module with B1800 Blocking Filter – In star diagonal with T2 connection for telescopes up to 100mm aperture and 1800mm focal length
Retail Price: US$995.00

LS18CaKMDs2
* Calcium Module with B1800 Blocking Filter – In extension tube with T2 connection for telescopes up to 100mm aperture and 1800mm focal length
Retail Price: US$995.00

LS34CaKMD
* Calcium Module with B1800 & B3400 Blocking Filter – In extension tube with T2 connection for telescopes up to 100mm aperture and 600mm focal length
Retail Price: US$1,695.00

These part numbers can be looked up in the Price List or call for more information.

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No-one brings you closer to our nearest Star than Lunt Solar Systems… the next generation of Solar Instrumentation.

About Lunt Solar Systems LLC…

Lunt Solar Systems is a manufacturing and sales facility located in Tucson, Arizona. Lunt Solar design, fabricate, assemble, and test solar telescopes and solar filters. Whether you are looking for a dedicated solar telescope or a solar filter for attachment to you own astronomy telescope, we can help. Solar telescopes models start at $499 for an LS35T (telescope) or the only slightly more expensive LS50F (filter), all the way thru the 152T and the 160F. Solar observing is both fun and educational. Don’t miss out on Solar Maximum.

 

June 3rd, 2011

The sun continues to put on quite a show today with its array of active regions.  The image below shows AR1226 and 1227 with their collection of dancing filaments.   Currently there are six active regions visible on the sun, providing a lot of different things to view and image!  It will be exciting to see what unfolds over the next few days as some of these regions have been producing C-class flares.

June 1st, 2011

For the last few weeks the sun has grown quiet again.  After spoiling many of us with awesome active regions, prominences, filaments, etc…  Well over the last couple days the sun has unleashed a angry display with AR1226 and AR1227 which has unleashed several C-class flares!  Solar observers around the world are urged to keep the scopes trained on the sun for the next several days.

Stephen Ramsden of the famous non-profit Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project snapped these two amazing images this morning using some of his personal Lunt gear.

This awesome image was captured with Stephen’s LS80THa single stack and a DMK41.  Detailed views of prominences, active regions and filaments can clearly be seen across the solar disk!  While things in H-alpha looked awesome the view in white light was also quite a sight!  The image below was captured using an Explore Scientific 127ED Triplet Apo. refractor using the Lunt 2″ Solar Wedge and DMK41 camera.  The crisp views of the granulation and awesome detailed images of the collection of sunspots makes this a truly awesome image!

For more information about Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project and the famous S.U.N.S.P.O.T. truck check out www.charliebates.org!

We truly enjoy seeing the images being shot with our products!  Please continue to keep sending in you images and we will put them on our blog.

About Lunt Solar Systems LLC…

Lunt Solar Systems is a manufacturing and sales facility located in Tucson, Arizona. Lunt Solar design, fabricate, assemble, and test solar telescopes and solar filters. Whether you are looking for a dedicated solar telescope or a solar filter for attachment to you own astronomy telescope, we can help. Solar telescopes models start at $499 for an LS35T (telescope) or the only slightly more expensive LS50F (filter), all the way thru the 152T and the 160F. Solar observing is both fun and educational. Don’t miss out on Solar Maximum.

November 23rd, 2010

As the end of the year quickly comes to a close things begin to change; many of us think over the past year and look towards the holiday season for a time of giving and warmth.  Well here at Lunt Solar we decided to do a little giving this year.

As many people know our Newtonian based LS200THa solar scope never made it to the market and for the passed year the optics and tubes have remained in storage.  Well in mid-October 2010 the scopes were officially donated to Stephen Ramsden and his out reach organization known as the Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project.  These scopes will be distributed as kit projects to Georgia schools to help further the education in science and astronomy!  We are quite pleased to know that these scopes will be used for a good purpose.  Stephen would like to thank Andy Lunt, Rikki Hocking, Brian Stephens, Alan Traino, Theo Ramakers, Frank Garner, Tim Nix and Tom Sewell for helping making this awesome project come together.

Below are some pictures of the first kit donated being put together:

To learn more about the Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project please visit their website at www.charliebates.org

About Lunt Solar Systems LLC…

Lunt Solar Systems is a manufacturing and sales facility located in Tucson, Arizona. Lunt Solar design, fabricate, assemble, and test solar telescopes and solar filters. Whether you are looking for a dedicated solar telescope or a solar filter for attachment to you own astronomy telescope, we can help. Solar telescopes models start at $499 for an LS35T (telescope) or the only slightly more expensive LS50F (filter), all the way thru the LS152T and even the LS230T. Solar observing is both fun and educational. Don’t miss out on Solar Maximum.

Lunt Solar Systems LLC

2520 N. Coyote Drive
Suite 111
Tucson AZ 85745

luntsolarsystems.com

Telephone: 1-877-344-7348
Telephone: 520-344-7348
Fax: 520-344-7352
e-mail: sales@luntsolarsystems.com