2019 December 28

During November and December I have been able to observe the Sun only few times due to bad weather here in Italy. Luckily during this period there was only some minor activity so I missed almost nothing of interest. However cycle 25th produced some short -lived active regions and bright plages showing very limited sunspot... Continue Reading →

2019 October 27

My posts are becoming increasingly rare as we sink into the very deep minimum between cycles 24th & 25th. Predictions for the next cycle vary from pessimistic through mildly optimistic, the interested reader may refer to the following links for an overview on what is expected: http://sidc.oma.be/silso/ https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-07690-0 https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/2041-8213/aad1ed/meta https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364682617307009 https://www.swpc.noaa.gov/news/solar-cycle-25-preliminary-forecast In the meantime we... Continue Reading →

2019 October 11

Between October 1 and 3 a small short-lived suspot still belonging to the 24th cycle appeared in the S hemisphere. This has been the most relevant sign of solar activity to date, just to break a row of 27th spotless days. However around day 6 two small active regions were visible at the same time,... Continue Reading →

2019 September 9 to 20

Still no news from the front of solar activity. Based on the number of spotless days during the past minimum of 2008 - 2009 and supposing cycle 25th will behaves similarly to 24th, we should expect some signs of activity for next spring 2010, unlikely we'll see something relevant before. Activity continues to be significant... Continue Reading →

2019 September 7

Still a blank disc today, however few prominences made a fine show on the NW limb. I took the opportunity to test my new 115 mm f/7 Tecnosky triplet. Very happy of this scope, good optics, particularly well corrected both in H-alpha and in calcium light, and a fine mechanics. Having a 2.5" focuser and... Continue Reading →

2019 September 2

The small group that appeared on September 1st is now assigned the AR number 12748, class B, 14° N. Observed this morning it still consists of three small spots without penumbra and a couple of dark photospheric patches. In CaK light it lies in a bright irregular plage divided by a normally dark area. More... Continue Reading →

2019 September 1

This month opened with a new spot group appeared in the N hemisphere between 10° and 15° of latitude. SDO magnetogram seems indicating that it still belongs to the 24th cycle, however after so many weeks with no sign of new activity, even this small A-class group is a welcome feature to observe and image.... Continue Reading →

2019 from 2nd half of July till August 26th

Solar activity remained very low for almost all months of July and August. A minor group of spots appeared in the south hemisphere on August 5th, then the photosphere returned spotless with only few minor faculae visible close to the limb. Chromospheric activity was also low, no major prominences appeared although in these last weeks... Continue Reading →

The Sun is becoming increasingly peppered by small bright patches that in white light appear as minor facular regions, particularly in the northern hemisphere, best visible in calcium K light. They are (welcomed) signs of an increase in solar activity expected as cycle 25th progresses toward the next maximum. Not much for a solar imager... Continue Reading →

July 13 & 15

As far as solar activity is concerned there have been no news in these days, the visible photosphere continue to be without any detail, a white uniform ball. The chromosphere is more interesting showing the usual small prominences on the limb and very few, small areas of magnetic activity. Still experimenting with my new B600... Continue Reading →

2019 July 12

Very few details to observe, again. The remnants of the 25th cycle group and a modest prominence on the W limb were the only features present today. I tested my new CaK Lunt module with a full disc image through my 72 mm apo, unfortunately the seeing was terrible and the image in not very... Continue Reading →

2019 July 6

A beautiful solar disc, today, in spite of the continuing absence of groups. After long time spent in H-alpha high resolution imaging, I returned to image the full disc with my Lunt LS50 and the new B1200 that much improved images quality compared to B600. The bright plage to the south still persist, a welcomed... Continue Reading →

2019 July 5

The Sun is still quite. In H-alpha one can observe the usual chromospheric activity, some limb prominences, few short filaments on the disc, no major plages. There is still some magnetic activity where the small 25th-cycle southern group appeared few days ago, a larger area characterized by a very fragmented plage is still visible toward... Continue Reading →

2019 July 1

Small signs of cycle 25, bright points sometimes observed at high latitude, partciularly in the N hemisphere and calcium light, and now a modest B-class group that just appeared in the south hemisphere on July 1st at about -20° latitude. It adds to several spots of the 25th cycle that have been already recorded since 2018. ... Continue Reading →

2019 June 16 to 28

Solar activity remained at a very low level. Only few small class A/B spots appeared in the last week and soon vanished. The chromosphere was fairly active with limb prominences and disc filaments almost always present although of modest appearance. A beautful flame on day 16 was the most prominence feature.

2019 June 1 to 14

The few images below document some solar activity observed during the first two week of June. There were no sunspots, only faculae and small bright plages on the disc or on the limb. In H-alpha the limb always showed at least a weak activity in the form of modest prominences but sometimes also filaments were... Continue Reading →

2019 May 14 – 15 – 16

Bye bye AR12740... Survived to three rotations the big sunspot is now reduced to a small umbra without any relevant feature as it lost even all its penumbra. It is very unlikely we'll see it emerging again from E limb. The solar disc returned therefore almost blank while AR12741 completes its journey through the earth-facing... Continue Reading →

2019 May 10

Active regions 12740 and 12741 are still among the most active spots of this solar minimum. They gave rise to several flares that in few cases triggered significant geomagnetic storms. Both groups are now decayed to class H, however they are notable even to the casual observer as most of the solar disc is featurless.... Continue Reading →

2019 May 6 & 7

The Sun returned to show some activity after weeks of blank photosphere. AR12738 (already 12736) returned as AR12740, surrounded by small spots and pores. It is now classified as a C-class group although I am doubtful about this attribution. The spot is nothing exceptional but is a welcome feature during the deepest phase of the... Continue Reading →

2019 May 4

AR12736 is returned, now as AR12740. Seeing was awful today however I tried to capture the spot in H-alpha after replacing the clearly defective BF of my Quark with a Lunt B600 diagonal. What a difference this change made! This is the solar limb before the cure and this after Best images of the days... Continue Reading →

2019 April 30 – May 1

A very quiet Sun again while waiting for the return of AR12738 which seems still very active as on May 1st it released a farside CME. First light of my new Skywatcher 72ED refractor, a full disc in Calcium light. No details visible apart few small bright magnetic spots, however I obtained a very sharp... Continue Reading →

2019 April 15 to 18

AR12738, a large H-class group, concluded its show by April 21st disappearing beyond the W limb. In the few days before it attracted much attention among the solar community. Although nothing exceptional per se, it was a conspicuous solar minimum group worth of observing and imaging as I did myself. Let's see if it will... Continue Reading →

2019 April 9 to 13

Ex active region 12736, now 12738, is a relevant sunspot group which is surviving longer than many groups that characterized the current deep solar minimum in the past months. It is now of class H, a large filamentous penumbra surrounding a dark umbra with a well visible light bridge inside. Few tiny spots and pores... Continue Reading →

2019 March 30 & 31

Solar activity still very low, particularly in the H alpha region where only few minor prominences are visible at the limb. On day 31st of March a new active region appeared in the N hemisphere. This morning it was composed of only two very small spots without penumbra, however in the last few hours it... Continue Reading →

2019 March 23 & 24

A sudden increase in solar activity led to the development of a large sunspot group, AR12736, that unfortunately remained in view for few days only and is now (25th) already beyond the W limb. It reached class E with a large preceding spot with multiple umbras and a well developed penumbra. The trailing pole was... Continue Reading →

2019 March 16 & 20

The blank Sun of the last weeks suddenly changed when two small active regions appeared in the northern hemisphere. They still belong to the Cycle 24th, however AR12736 shows a complex magnetic configuration. In fact on day 20th it produced a brilliant C-4 flare that visible not only on SDO but also on some amateur... Continue Reading →

2019 March 8&9

The deep minimum of the 24th solar cycle is still under way and no major active regions emerged in the last weeks of February. At the beginning of March a small C-class group, AR12734 made its appearance in the N hemisphere. Although the magnetic orientation of the group is tilted 90° compared to the usual... Continue Reading →

2019 February 17

Another good day for H alpha observers. The long filament of the day 16 is still persisting today and is a fine sight in my Daystar Quark. I imaged it with the 104mm Lunt-mod achromat at low power (no hires today). Both the E and the W limb showed some interesting quiescent prominences, but small... Continue Reading →

2019 February 14 & 16

Solar activity remains very low. A large sunspotless area of magnetic activity has just appeared on the NE limb. In calcium light it is a very fragmented plage with many bright branches, while in H alpha is much more interesting showing a large sinuous filament whose southern part is surrounded by a bright plage. The... Continue Reading →

2019 February 9

AR12733 disappeared beyond the Sun's limb at the end of January and since then the disc returned to be totally blank in WL. Few minor prominences are always present around the limb together with short filaments on the disc. This is the beauty and the joy of observing in H-alpha, there is always something to... Continue Reading →

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