Monster Sunspot Triggers Big Solar Flares (Photos)

Sunspot AR1476 Viewed from Manila

Alberto Lao

Skywatcher Alberto Lao of Binondo, Manila, Philippines sent in this photo. He writes: "This is a composite of the sunspot sunset taken on May 10, 2012. There was a slight haze and partly cloudy skies before I was able to get a decent image of Sunspots AR1476 and AR1477."

ISS Transiting the Sun with Sunspot AR1476

James West

Skywatcher James West sent in the photo taken on May 13, 2012, from Southampton, UK. He writes: "As ever observing the sun requires great care and use of approved solar filters. I have a Celestron EdgeHD 925 telescope and a filter designed to fit that telescope. I also had to ensure I had a filter for the telescope's finderscope which I had made using Baader Planetarium solar film. That ensures one can quickly align the scope with the sun and then use it for visual and photographic observing safely. I also sellotape the filter on the finderscope to ensure it does not accidentally dislodge whilst looking through it at the sun. After that the main problem is getting a sharp focus as the sun's brightness makes it hard to focus through the camera. The AR1476 sunspot makes it a little easier as there is something to focus on, but I connected my camera to a laptop to enable a better focus, though the sun's reflections in the laptop screen still makes it a challenge!"

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