October 19, 2016
A short Summary of Carrington Rotation 2181
Carrington Rotation 2181 covered the time period from 2016-08-26 2116 UT until 2016-09-23 0334 UT.
481 Reports and images were submitted and can be viewed in ALPO’s Solar Archive for CR2181:
During the rotation, 18 Active Regions could be observed with the largest region, AR2585, reaching its max. area of 590 millionths on September 4th, . This is more than twice that of the active region area covered by the largest AR in the previous rotation, which reached a max. of 290 millionth on August 10th. The total active region area for the hemisphere maxed out two days earlier on September 2nd with 730 millionths and the Wolf number reached its maximum on September 1st with 91. As mentioned, the dominant region during the rotations was AR2585. Unlike the previous four rotation, CR2181 did not have any days with a total active region area of 0 or a Wolf number of 0.
We thank all of those who did submit their data and continued their effort to record the solar activity over the years.
For this Rotation we are featuring three images from our observers Rik Hill, Michael Borman and Randy Tatum. Thanks to them as well as all other contributors for a great rotation. Please take a look at their images in our archive.
The ALPO Solar Team.
October 3, 2016
A short Summary of Carrington Rotation 2180
Carrington Rotation 2180 covered the time period from 2016-07-30 1539 UT until 2016-08-26 2116 UT.
All 426 submitted observations and images can be viewed in ALPO’s Solar Archive for CR2180:
12 Active Regions could be observed during this rotation with the largest region, AR2574, reaching the largest Active Region Area for the royation of 290 millionth on August 10th. In addition, the Rotation showed two Regions which exceeded an area of over 200 millionths, AR2571 and AR2574. The total Active Region Area for the hemisphere maxed out on August 9 at 490 millionths, which coincided with the highest spot count for the rotation of 31 and a Wolf number of 91. The previous rotations, CR2178 and CR2179 had respectively 11 and 5 days without active regions, and CR2180 continued this pattern with another 5 days without any Active Regions.
We thank all of those who did submit their data and their continued effort to record the solar activity over the years.
This Rotation we are featuring three images from our observers, Dave Tyler, Jamey Jenkins and Chris Schur. Thanks to them as well as all other contributors for a great rotation. Please take a look at their images in our archive.
The ALPO Solar Team.
September 27, 2016
ALPOSS – A report on CR2174 thru CR2177
ALPOSS Coordinator and Scientific Advisor Richard Hill continues his analysis of the solar activity in his detailed reports of the Carrington Rotations. This time he covers 4 Carrington Rotations: CR2174 thru CR2177, or February 18th through June 6th, 2016. The reports are based on almost 1200 reports and image submissions of numerous contributors to the Solar Observations Archive. The report was published in the 2016 Autumn issue of the ALPO Journal, the Strolling Astronomer, and can now also be accessed as a stand alone document on ALPOSS Solar Observations & Reports page, or downloading it by “right”clicking on the picture below.
August 16, 2016
A short Summary of Carrington Rotation 2179
Carrington Rotation 2179 covered the time period from 2016-07-03 – 1040 UT until 2016-07-30 – 1539 UT.
Submitted observations can be viewed in ALPO’s Solar Archive for CR2179:
12 Active Regions could be observed during this rotation with the largest region, AR2567, reaching a covered area of 390 millionth on July 20th. The total area maxed out on July 21st at 790 millionths. The largest Spot count of 28 was observed on July 19th with AR2575 and AR2567 being the main contributors to this. Whereas the previous rotation CR2178 had 11 days with no regions, CR2179 had 5 days without any Active Regions.
A total of 482 submissions were made by Solar Observers and we thank all of them for their continued effort to record the solar activity over the years.
Instead of featuring three images in this blog, this time we would like to show three of the reports logged by our contributors Joe Gianninoto, Ryc Rienks, and David Teske. Thanks to them as well as all other contributors for a great rotation.
The ALPO Solar Team.
July 18, 2016
Scanning Recommendation for Solar Drawings
Recent questions about what format drawings should be in when submitted to the Solar Archive, prompt us to write this post. Despite that many say that they want the highest quality and thus scans should be submitted in the highest possible resolution, this does not make a lot of sense. Drawings are made typically by pencil or a marker. In addition, the drawing should as accurately reflect what someone saw and document this accordingly. Think of it as this way: If you scan at 200 dpi (dots per inch) this means that the scanner will create a dot if it finds a line that is 1/200 of an inch or 1/8 of 1mm. So the question becomes can you draw features on a Solar disc and accurately position it to that scale? Without any further aid probably not. In addition, images are mostly available in the jpg format. This standard format allows a compression grade of 1 to 12 for the file data in the image, so the file becomes smaller in size. A full 8 1/2 by 11 sheet could take up 7 MB or larger when uncompressed, but compressed it might be only 250 – 300 kB. This is a huge difference if images need to be downloaded or processed.
So let’s take a look at how a PC does display images and data. A typical PC monitor is approx. 1250 pixels wide. Some are wider and others have less pixels available. So if you were to display the width of an 8 ½ x 11” paper across the width of the screen you would have 1250 pixels available and the screen is probably 13 to 15 inch wide. This would mean that if the page was displayed across the width of the entire screen, it displays at approx. 1 ½ times the size of the real sheet of paper and it would be displayed at a resolution of 1250/8 ½ or approx. 150 pixels per inch. This would be the optimum resolution for that screen to display that page. Images captured with the current technology also have a similar resolution of 1200 -1800 pixels wide. So increasing the resolution only makes the image bigger resulting in only a portion of that image being displayed on the screen and does not necessarily increase the clearness of what you did draw.
We have taken a good look at what the best format for our purpose is, and we have concluded the following: A scan with 150 to 200 dpi produces sufficient data to properly represent what’s on the paper you scanned for analysis, as well as reproduction in printed form. In addition, when the image is saved in the form of a jpg, a compression grade of 5 to 6 for the data compression, retains more than sufficient data to properly reconstruct what was scanned. This compression grade number is displayed in many programs when the file is saved as a jpg file, including Photoshop CS or PS Elements. So to summarize, for images to be submitted in our archive we prefer if you can scan drawings as follows:
Scan with 150 to 200 dpi.
Use jpg compression grade at 5 to 6 when saving the file.
This should produce files of reasonable size for on-line access. Remember, there are still many individuals who like to see your images, but they also have to deal with slow internet, or even dial up speeds.
Thanks for your consideration, and if you have any further questions or suggestions, please do not hesitate to send your question/suggestion to firstname.lastname@example.org .
The Solar Team.
July 10, 2016
A short Summary of Carrington Rotation 2178
Carrington Rotation 2178 covered the time period from 2016-06-06 – 0557 UT until 2016-07-03 – 1040 UT.
Submitted observations can be viewed in ALPO’s Solar Archive for CR2178:
CR2178 was the first rotation since the solar maximum that started with no reported Active Region and ended with no regions during the last 10 days. In fact only during 16 days, the Sun’s activity showed ARs and Sunspots. The total number of regions that could be observed was limited to 7. The largest Region AR2553 reached its maximum size at 330 millionths only three days after it emerged from the Eastern Limb, while the Sun’s total active regions maxed out the same day at 500 millionths. The largest number of Sunspots (12) were counted when AR2552 was the only region three days before.
Despite the low activity during the rotation, observers did submit 401 observations to the ALPO Solar archive. Thanks to all who observed the Sun for their dedication. Following are a few observations submitted by Dave Tyler, Howard Eskildsen and Theo Ramakers, including an “empty” Sun, but all submitted observations can be seen by following the link above.
Your Solar Section Team
June 17, 2016
ALPOSS – A report on CR2169 thru CR2173
ALPOSS’ Acting Coordinator and Scientific Advisor Richard Hill continues his detailed reports of the Carrington Rotations. This time he covers 5 Carrington Rotations: CR2169 thru CR2173. The reports are based on over 500 submissions of numerous contributors to the Solar Observations Archive. The report was published in the 2016 Summer issue of the JAPLO and can now also be accessed as a stand alone document on ALPOSS’ Solar Observations & Reports page, or downloading by “right”clicking on the picture below.
June 7, 2016
A short Summary of Carrington Rotation 2177
Carrington Rotation 2177 covered the time period from 2016-05-10 – 0053 UT until 2016-06-06 – 0557 UT
Submitted observations can be viewed in ALPO’s Solar Archive for CR2177:
11 Active regions could be observed during the period, which started with four active regions, an active region area total of 210 millionths, as well as 28 sunspots. The largest region was AR2546 which reached its maximum of 540 millionths on May 17th. The shortest lived Active Region was AR2547 with a duration of two days only and did not grow larger than 10 millionths. The active region total for the solar disk maxed out on May 16th at 770 millionths, one day before AR2546 reached its maximum. The highest number of Sunspots (37) could be observed on May 15th.
The last 7 days of the Rotation the Sun did not produce any C-class flares, and the last 5 days even went without any B-Class flares, resulting in an overall Very Low solar activity. To top it off, the Rotation ended with three days of no registered active regions or sunspots, a clear indication that we are on the way to the Solar minimum. At the end of the Rotation, observers had submitted 273 observations to the ALPO Solar archive. Thanks to all who observed the Sun for their dedication. Following are a few observations submitted by Tony Broxton, Avani Soares, and Monty Leventhal, but all submitted observations can be seen by following the link above.
The ALPO Solar Team.
May 20, 2016
Carrington Rotation 2176, a short summary
The Rotation ran from 2016-04-12 1857 UT till 2016-05-10 0053 UT.
Submitted images can be viewed at the following URL:
15 Active Regions could be observed during the rotation (AR2529 – AR2543). The rotation started with a total active region area of 880 millionths and 22 sunspots and ended with a total active region area of 210 and 28 spots. The largest region in the previous rotation, AR2529, continued to be the dominant region for this rotation too, and maxed out with an area of 850 millionths. The lowest total area was recorded on April 23rd with 70 millionths. It has been a while since the Sun produced a flare larger than a M5, However early morning 4/18 marks the day/time when it produced an M6.7 flare which did cause an R2 alert to be posted. The highest Wolf Number (86) was recorded for 4/28 with 6 regions and AR2535 showing 9 spots by itself, and the lowest Wolf Number (11) on 4/24 when only region AR2433 was observed with only one sunspot.
The last day of the rotation showed a special event, the Mercury transit which was the subject of the previous summary. The archive received over 380 submissions for the rotation, with an additional 40 for the Mercury transit.
Thanks to all who spend their time observing the Sun, and submitting their observations.
The ALPO- Solar team.
May 14, 2016
The Mercury Transit, a short summary
As of this writing the ALPO Solar Section received 26 submissions of observations of the Mercury Transit. The transit was well advertised in the JALPO and Solar blog through John Westfall’s article about the transit. In order to accommodate the request to provide a number of images taken exactly at the full hour, a number of submissions were filed which were taken to the second at XX.00 .00 UT. It is our understanding that some of these images have been used by individuals to re-calculate the distance between the Earth and the Sun ( 1 AU). In addition several composite images showed the planet as it tracked in front of the sun and during ingress and egress. Take a look at the archive to see what was submitted:
We’d like to thank all that took the time to observe this event and submit their observations.
The ALPO Solar team.