Solar Telescopes by DayStar Filters, Vixen Optics, Meade Telescopes, Celestron,& Barska Optics
target the emission line of known elements such as Hydrogen, Sodium,
Calcium, etc. By eliminating all other light, we can see the activity
happening in these specific chemicals and learn more about the sun and
its behavior. The narrower the bandpass, the more off-band light is
rejected. This refinement in manufacturing accomplishes higher
contrast. The sun is bright enough. We do not need to capture more
light. To add detail, we need 'more dark' or exclude more light.
bandpass filter's width depicts a range of wavelenths are allowed to
pass through it. We measure light's color or position in the spectrum
by its wavelength. The visual spectrum is found between about 3900 and
7000┼. Red light has longer wavelengths and blue has shorter
wavelengths. We measure the distance between peaks in the wave to
arrive at its wavelength. That unit of measure is an ┼ngstrom. An
┼ngstrom is 1/10th of a nanometer. A nanometer is 1 billionth of a
meter. Prominent lines for chemicals of interest on the sun are: Hydrogen
Alpha: 6562.8┼ and Calclium K line 3933┼. Note that the Hydrogen
wavelength is almost two times as long as the blue Calcium wavelength.
||By observing the sun in Hydrogen a (with a narrow bandpass filter tuned to 6562.8┼), we can observe the behavior of the Sun's Chromosphere.
The chromosphere is like a shell of gas around the Sun's photosphere,
it is less than 1% of the diameter of the Sun, and is always moving and
changing. The structure of the chromosphere behaves differently in
active regions than quiet areas, where magnetic field lines are
stronger. The chromosphere is governed by magnetic forces and thought
to be tied to the photosphere, yet it still has its own IntraNetwork
(IN) of material oscillating independently every 5 minutes.
||On the limb, even a rather wide filter of 1┼ or more will show prominences,
a detail of the chromosphere projected against the dark black contrast
of space. To observe the details of chromosphere on the face of the
sun, we need a narrower filter to eliminate more off-band light of the
photosphere and continuum. We need a filter less than 1.0┼. The
narrower the filter's bandpass, the more contrast we will see - down to
0.4┼, where prominence structure is reduced due to high velocity and subsequent wing shift.
dominate the chromosphere in non-active regions and have been studied
exhaustively. They are barely visible, last only about 15 minutes, and
resemble a "burning prarie". Some jets can be seen shooting 10,000 km
up from the Sun's limb at velocities of about 30km/sec. Studied
exhaustively, they present a number of observing challenges, as they
are too small to resolve and move so quickly as to present wing-shift
||Field Transition Arches (FTA's) connect P and F spots - elements of opposite polarity.
Inside an active region, where sunspots are originally linked by a FTA,
a shear bouandary forms. Field Transition Arches are different
from filaments in that they are thin and not very dark. The FTA
usually has plage or granular structure underneath.
Most of the active region area is occupied by plage. Considerable
atmospheric heating takes place in the plage. It is bright in
everything from Halpha to the Calcium H and K lines. This heating is
thought to account for an absence of spicule. While absent over plage,
spicule are prominent around its edges.
appear as large, dark eyebrows across the surface of the Sun. With a
brightness of about 10% of the disk due to scattering, they appear dark
on the surface, but on the limb, show as a prominence. Active Region
Filaments (ARF) differ from Quiescent Region Filaments (QRF). ARF are
darker, smaller and have more coherent fibril structure along their
axis. A sheared magnetic field runs parallel to this axis, permitting a
sizeable flare. QRF may produce a big Coronal Mass Ejection (CME). An
ARF may erupt and reform several times.
||Ellerman Bomb: A remarkable feature of Emerging Flux Regions is the Ellerman bomb. Bright points with very broad Ha wings (▒5┼) that are low in the atmosphere so they are not visible on Ha
centerline. Called 'moustaches' for their appearance on spectrograph,
they appear like wide moustaches with a gap in the middle. This strange
and tiny feature typically occurs at the center of the EFR or in the
edges of spots - where the field is breaking the surface.
are intense, abrupt releases of energy which occur in areas where the
magnetic field is changing by flux emergence or sunspot motion.
Stresses in lines of force build up slowly and are released in flares.
They occur most frequently at neutral lines where a filament is
supported by horizontal sheared field lines. This event can only take
place along a magnetic inversion line. When many lines of force are
involved, two ribbons of emission appear, brightening simultaneously.
||Emerging Flux Regions: An
area on the Sun where a magnetic dipole, or "flux tube" is surfacing on
the disk, eventually producing a bipolar sunspot group. Each pole of an
EFR is often marked by pores or small developing sunspots. Surges or
even small solar flares can sometimes occur in EFRs. An EFR emerges
with small bright Ha
region with little surges, then weak arch filaments (AFS) over bright
plage connect small spots on each dipole. Growth is rapid, forming in
just a few hours.|
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