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Copyright 2009 Starry Mirror



Astronomy From West Virginia


BRIDGEPORT, WV (S-M) - Here at our little observatory, we have been observing some giant prominences on the Sun.


Solar activity has been strong since the first of the year, and we first saw large prominences in January.  Since the Sun rotates about once per month, we have seen what are likely the same prominences in February and March.  The prominences are only visible for a couple of days at a time, when they are at the edge of the Sun and are seen in profile.


We are observing these features in the light of Hydrogen-alpha, which is in the red part of the spectrum.  They are invisible in broadband white light.  These are the first really good features we have seen during the new Solar Cycle which is just beginning.  We are excited to think of all we will see as the Sun approaches Sunspot maximum, which is expected in 2013.  - GW

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This image shows a prominence at 1740UT on 17 March.  It was taken in Hydrogen alpha light.  Glen Ward photo.