Sun With Filaments,Prominences, and a Sunspot


The Sun is increasing its activity and this image shows  filaments, prominences, sunspots and granules. Filaments are large regions of very dense, cool gas, held in place by magnetic fields. They usually appear long and thin above the chromosphere, the Sun’s visible outer atmosphere. They look dark because they are cooler than the surounding gas. There are several filaments visible in the image, the most obvious one being left of center.The prominences are filaments seen on the edge of the Sun of which there are two large ones in the image and some smaller ones. The large prominences are over 6 earth diameters in size. There is only one small sunspot that is left of the filament. Sunspots appear as spots darker than the surrounding areas.  They are regions of reduced surface temperature caused by concentrations of magnetic field flux that inhibit convection. The bulk of the Sun’s surface is seen to be made up of regions called granules which are seething areas of turbulence from convection from inside the Sun. The Sun emits 50% of its energy as infrared radiation, 40% from visible and 10% ultraviolet related to its Black Body surface temperature of 5778K. The energy supplying this radiation comes from fusion nuclear reactions converting Hydrogen into Helium in the Sun’s core. This energy leaves the core by very intense radiation of gamma rays in what is called the radiation region outside the core, which is then reabsorbed in what is called the convection region, which then flows by heat convection to the first layer of the Sun’s atmosphere called the photosphere and then the chromosphere and is released from the Sun as radiation noted above. None of this outward radiation comes from deep in the sun and is all emitted from the Sun’s atmosphere as Black Body radiation of a body at 5778K. This is contrary to some accounts which say it takes a million years for a photon to go from the center of the Sun to the surface. What is true is there is a million years worth of deadly gamma ray photons emitted from the core at any time but none of them reach the surface which is good.  The image here is due only to the light coming from one particular atomic Hydrogen gas emission line called the Hydrogen alpha at  656.28nm The image was taken through a 100mm double stacked Lunt solar telescope which is finely tuned(0.04nm pass band) to this frequency and filters everything else out. Filtering this way is the only way to see the details of the Sun’s surface. A telescope which filters all of the light uniformly can only see large sunspots and no other detail. The image was processed in Photoshop by selecting the green channel and sharpening and improving contrast in PS Camera Raw and PS proper.

SKU: 1-2 Category:

Optics: Lunt LS100T Solar Telescope & DSII Double Stack
Mount: Software Bisque Paramount MEII
Camera: Panasonic Lumix S1H
Filters: none
Dates/Times: June 22, 2021
Location: Adler Earth and Sky Observatory, Jackson Hole, WY
Exposure Details: Iso 2000, Exposure 1/13sec, Camera Raw
Acquisition:  Hand
Processing:  Photoshop CC2021, select green channel, Camera Raw(texture,clarity) colorize in PS