Erika Rix
Image taken:
Jun. 6, 2011
Zanesville, OH, USA
Sketches created scope-side with black Strathmore Artagain paper, white Conte’ crayon and pencil, Derwent charcoal pencil, black oil pencil I opened the observatory at 8:30 EST (1230 UT) but knew I’d have limited time to catch a quick sketch/observing session before taking Nigel to the vets for his appointment. Feeling slightly rushed, I was unable to complete the sketch of the SW prominence and struggled to keep up with the changes as it evolved during my session. Normally, I can complete a prom sketch in 5-15 minutes, but I found myself chasing the changes, making the sketch time drag out longer. It was time to just lay down the white pencil, sigh, and close up the roof, knowing I’d have another chance when we got back from the vets. When we returned, I started a new session and was able to complete a new SW prom sketch, although seeing had gotten slightly worse for the first part of the session. The prominence had changed quite a bit from two hours before but the main structure of it was still fairly intact. What caught my eye after completing that sketch was a very faint slanted arm of a prom to the SE limb. Using a solar observing cloth and not even putting pencil to paper for quite awhile, I was finally able to make out a loop instead of an arm. Then above that reaching to the north, I saw two very faint blotches of plasma that, on brief rock steady moments of seeing, showed that the two blotches were connected and actually reached down to the northern section of the looped prominence. The whole area was very diffuse because of the poor transparency, making it difficult to render a definite structure on paper. Later, I was relieved to see an image of it on SOHO, verifying that it was actually there and not just condensation on my eyepiece from the damp heat coming off my face. Active regions 11231, 11228, 11227, 11226 were still quite showy with plage, filaments and a couple obvious sunspots in h-alpha. Just inside the limb near the Eastern proms as well as the NW prom, the “surface” crackled with the lightened areas.
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