Solar filament with Jupiter to scale
Sun_prominence_jupiter_150209

“A Prominent Feature”, available on Redbubble

The Sun is a lot more dynamic than most people think. Here’s today’s Sun, imaged in a specific wavelength of light known as “Hydrogen alpha“, which would appear as a deep red to the human eye. Unlike white light photographs that image the photosphere (the “visible surface” of the Sun), H-alpha light shows the chromosphere, and is particularly good at picking up many of the features of the solar disk.

The most obvious feature in this image is one known as a filament, which stretches most of the way across the face of the Sun. I’ve added my image of Jupiter from last night for some scale, and as you can see, it’s enormous! Just out of interest, if the same feature extended beyond the edge of the solar disk, it would be known as a prominence (hence the name of the post¬†ūüôā ). There are also a number of other solar features in the image such as sunspots, some prominences, plage and even spicules.

Shot with a ZWO ASI120MM Monochrome Astronomy Camera, and a Lunt Solar Systems LS50-THa-B600 hydrogen alpha telescope. 2000 images were taken, with the best 150 stacked in Registax. Because the resulting image is obviously monochrome, colour was added in post-processing (i.e.: it’s a false colour image). I’ve included some reduced resolution raw footage below for comparison.

 


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