Sunspots are back!

Yesterday while enjoying the July 4th holiday with some grilling outside I setup a borrowed Coronado PST to take a look at the sun and there was an active sunspot group!

Later I setup my 8″ Dobsonian with a solar filter and between the 2 scopes managed to get a few shots of the sun at 2 different wavelengths and the sunspot group is visible.

H-Alpha solar image 7-4-09
Visible solar image 7-4-09

Solar images 7-4-09

The SOHO instruments caught the entire thing from space in multiple wavelengths but here is just one:

from SOHO
from SOHO

from SOHO

The sun is an amazing astronomical target when it can be done safely. Our sun goes through an 11-year cycle and we have been at the minimum in terms of activity for a couple of years now. It looks like the solar minimum is finally over.

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