On February 11, 2018, I captured the basic images (a sequence of 15) of Sunspot #AR2699 for this composite. Mounted on a Manfrotto tripod the equipment included a Canon EOS 60D using 400mm, ND1600 filter, ISO-100, f25, 1/160sec.  I used RegiStax6 to stack 11 images, then enhanced the result with Photoshop CC to produce the inset.

Sunspot #AR2699 – 20181211


According to one astronomy site on the Internet, the sunspot feature second from the left is larger than the earth. The site also notes that this particular sunspot is a mild surprise. Apparently there is an eleven year activity cycle and this month is scheduled to be at the lowest point according the to solar calendar. Adding to the surprise, two days after this picture was taklen, AR2699 erupted in a giant explosion that affected short-wave radio communications, caused geomagnetic storms and sparked huge auroras in the northern latitudes.

In the photo, the irregularities are features of the sun’s surface motion. The white areas around the spots are plages, typically found in regions of the chromosphere in the vicinity of sunspots.

WARNING! Do not point your camera at the sun without adequate solar filtering. Remember playing with a magnifying glass and burning holes in paper and leaves? The lens on your camera will burn holes in its guts! Likewise ypur eyeballs if you peer through the viewfinder.