Sunday, June 06, 2021

spotted spots (Bradford)

Observed the Sun.

Fluff floating and yellow butterflies flitting.

Noted a large sunspot at the 9:30 o'clock position (west), near the edge of the disc.

Also tagged two spots, actually, a complex region, at the 8:00 o'clock position, a bit further in.

Used, at last, the Meade ETX 90 with a custom off-axis solar filter made with one lens of an Eclipse Megamovie Berkeley solar glasses.

Optically superior to the U of T glasses. Also, it cast a nice orange tint.


Had a devil of a time. 

I had built the off-axis mask yesterday and simply could not see the Sun. Gave up when clouds rolled in and a (er, another) trip to NoFrills called.

Tried again this morning and encountered the same problems!

Started to wonder if it was a scale issue... but that didn't make sense. With SkyTools 3 Pro, I verified it would fit easily in the field of view with the Celestron 26mm ocular (at 48 times magnification). Yeah, as I suspected, it should be no problem.

rendered image of Sun in Meade 90

North is up. East is right.

Grabbed the Kendrick full aperture solar filter for the C8 'scope and mounted it on a tripod with work clamps. Ensured it wouldn't fall off. It was not windy so there was little danger from a gust. Placed it in front of the main OTA and finder scope. Then I was able to use the finder to bull's eye the disc. OK. On the cross-hairs.

Yes! In the eyepiece. Indeed, it fit nicely.

Great view, actually. The Kendrick film is awesome. Bright image but then, full aperture.

Went to the custom filter, carefully installing it to not move the 'scope.

Saw the Sun! But it was soft. Very soft. And dark. Unfortunately, the film in the U of T 2014 eclipse glasses is optically poor.

Looked at my remaining supplies and considered chopping up one of the orange, optically-good glasses when I suddenly realised I could make a non-invasive mask!

custom solar filter skyward


custom solar filter back


Shot with the motorola e6.

Much better view in the custom mask with the new filter.


According to, the large spot was Active Region (AR) 2827. The dual spot complex was not identified...

Screen grab from Spaceweather.

brand new spots

North is up. East is left.

Oh ho. Missed it while zooming in on the large scale image. The dual spot region is new and has not yet been labelled.

I did not see the spot AR 2829 near the middle...


The heat must have loosened things up! I found the Meade ETX optical tube assembly rotating. I tightened it up in the base. Odd. That also affected focus!


So, after a lot of fiddling and experimenting, I have a working solar filter for the little Meade. I will add this to the arsenal of tools for the 10 June solar eclipse.

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