Monday, October 27, 2014

Prismatic Sun

  Last week despite driving 80 miles to the east, trying to outrun an encroaching cloud-bank, I still missed out on the sunset partial eclipse.  Although the main event was obscured, my practice shots taken the day before yielded evidence of an interesting atmospheric sunset phenomenon.
  As the sun gets lower in the sky it shines through denser layers of atmosphere.  The thicker atmosphere's refractive properties have a prismatic effect on the Sun, allowing its image to be separated into its component colors.  Meaning the sun's red wavelengths set first and the blue-green set last.  The first image shows the red breaking away at the bottom.

   Later as the solar disk was slipping below the horizon the green wavelengths of light were lingering above the Sun.

   Over the past week a massive sunspot complex, the size of Jupiter has been making its way across the face of the Sun.  Today I noticed that the sunspots could be seen through thickening clouds and was able to get some photos with the clouds acting as a solar filter.


  1. My Astronomical buddy at work(also Mark)fixed me up a Filter last week to put on my Birding Scope.It didn't fit,so he told me just to turn it round and Duct tape it on.So,I am at Eastwood beach in Stony Creek M.P,with all these Star Clubs and huge telescopes with my Duct taped home thing feeling embarrassed,but boy did it work! Fantastic views of the Eclipse and those huge Sun Spots.Pretty Cool to see after the more common total Lunar thing a few weeks ago.

  2. Glad you got to see the sunset eclipse. Your birding scope is way better quality than the one Galileo used to make his discoveries. But to be fair he didn't have duct tape.

  3. Who was the bloke that went Nutty staring at the sun? Tiberius?Copernicus? Anyway,that is way up there in the Coolest things I've seen this year.

  4. Galileo went blind possibly from looking at the sun without a filter duct taped to it.