Today was first light for the new Coronado PST that arrived this morning. The views were excellent, and although there were no sunspots to study, a number of prominences decorated the limb. It was amazing to watch how quickly they changed from minute to minute. The strongest of the bunch was at PA 215°, standing like a pillar and fluttering southward at the tip. I broke out the astrometric eyepiece and measured it at 1/31 solar diameter, or 28,000 miles (41,000 km) in height. A dirigible of plasma levitated consistently at PA 260° and remained there during a half hour of observing. Another at PA 65° began as a bright lump that rapidly developed a polyp that separated and flowed downward like a drop of red food coloring entering water.
I wasn’t planning on a sketch, but I couldn’t help it. I used digital tools to add color, glow, and mottling. I’m not sure if I’ll stick with that format down the road, but it’s a starting point. I have a lot to learn!
[Edit APR 25, 2009]: I realized that the PST does not mirror the image as I assumed it did. I have flipped my sketch to the correct orientation and have fixed my PA estimates to match.
|Date/Time||APR 23, 2009 05:55 – 06:22 PM MST
(APR 24, 2009 00:55 – 01:22 UT
|Observing Loc.||Flagstaff, AZ – Home|
|Instrument||Coronado PST – 40 mm f/10|
|Eyepieces/Mag.||Pentax XW 10 (40X); Meade Astrometric Eyepiece (33X)|
|Conditions||Partly Cloudy, Breezy|