May 2023 – News
Prize Day Opening: GKWJ opened the Observatory on Prize Day for astronomy pupils to show their parents our amazing facilities. A total of 41 pupils, siblings and parents visited through the course of the afternoon. A perfect clear sky allowed for solar observing, with the 10-inch and 8-inch in white light and the Lunt 50 in hydrogen alpha. Many sunspots were seen and a multitude of prominences, with one very large one in particular. On set up, GKWJ observed a bright mass of plasma exiting the field of view from the large prominence.
Friends Solar Observing: A beautiful warm early summer’s day with occasional small clouds allowed for excellent solar observing. 21 Friends joined GKWJ and JAG at the Observatory over the course of an hour and a half. Various instruments were used: the Celestron 8-inch and Cooke 10-inch both with white light filters and a Lunt 50mm Hydrogen Alpha double stack telescope on the new solar tracking mount. All instruments offered stunning views of a very active Sun; six sunspot groups were seen, with a large number of individual sunspots (the current sunspot number is 153). Great detail in the main sunspot (AR 3310) was seen through the 10-inch at magnifications of 93x, 140x and 224x. In H-alpha, superb granulation, a large filament and multiple prominences were observed, and even seen to change over the course of the session.
Public Solar Observing: A total of 23 visitors came to two solar observing sessions with GKWJ and JAG. Broken cloud that thickened meant that only the first group were lucky enough to see the Sun with eclipse specs and in white light through the 10-inch. Three large sunspot groups were clearly seen. Near real-time views of the Sun were obtained in multiple wavelengths online.