The Christmas Night Sky: A Yuletide Stargazing Guide

rod

Oct 22, 2019
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December is the month of the winter solstice, which a large part of the world associates with such celebrations as Nativity festivals.

The Christmas Night Sky: A Yuletide Stargazing Guide : Read more
Quite fun here. This morning I was out looking at the Sun using my glass, white-light solar filter. There are some unnumbered sunspots showing up now but look smaller than Earth size. From my log [Observed 0900-0930 EST. Sunrise 0723 EST. I viewed 4 unnumbered sunspots this morning on the Sun using 32-mm plossl and 14-mm Delos. Celestron #12 Yellow and #23A Red filters used too. One group of sunspots near 10:00 position, the other near 3:30 position, mirror reverse view. Some cirrus clouds did interfere with views but not too bad. The sunspots distinct with plage areas visible even at 31x. spaceweather.com reports "A new-cycle sunspot is emerging at the circled location. Credit: SDO/HMI", "A SUNSPOT FROM THE NEXT SOLAR CYCLE: Breaking a string of 40 spotless days, a new sunspot is emerging in the sun's southern hemisphere. It comes from the next solar cycle. The unnumbered spot is inset in this map of solar magnetic fields from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory: How do we know this is a new-cycle sunspot? Its magnetic polarity tells us so. Southern sunspots from old Solar Cycle 24 have a -/+ polarity. This sunspot is the opposite: +/-. According to Hale’s Law, sunspots switch polarities from one solar cycle to the next. This sunspot is therefore a member of new Solar Cycle 25. Recently we reported that Solar Minimum has reached a century-class low. This sunspot, plus a few others like it earlier this year, affirm that Solar Minimum won't last forever. Solar Cycle 25 is showing signs of life. Forecasters expect the next solar cycle to slowly gain strength in the years ahead and reach a peak in July 2025." https://theskylive.com/ shows both sunspot groups that I viewed this morning. The skylive.com image indicates the sunspots are a bit smaller than Earth size. Earth rotation apparent while viewing, keep the Sun centered in FOV.]

I did enjoy some views of Venus last evening too shortly after 1700 EST. For folks who track the Sun using good solar telescopes and filters, the Sun's angular size is slowly increasing as we approach perihelion distance, very noticeable if you observe and track throughout the year.
 
Dec 25, 2019
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December is the month of the winter solstice, which a large part of the world associates with such celebrations as Nativity festivals.

The Christmas Night Sky: A Yuletide Stargazing Guide : Read more
I am new to your site. I do access your site to find the location of planets although I don't know much about the planets. I have a question, why, on your site, do the photos not show. All I get is a blank page that says : "SPACE,COM" . Just curious. Thanks.
 

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