Friday, June 08, 2007

20070607 - Sun spots & sunsets

Session name:20070607

Sunset looking west on W57th St.

This is a sunset one week past Manhattanhenge. The Sun continues a northerly march along our horizon until June 21st. On this day, Summer Solstice occurs at 2:06pm EDT, where Earth reaches its maximum distance from the Sun in our annual orbit. This point on the orbit is known as aphelion. Slowly the Sun begins a retreat southward on our horizon. And around July 11th, Manhattanhenge occurs for the second time.

I completed a short observing session with the Tak bins at Cat Rock. Here I observed Sunspots 960, 959, and 958 in the bins. They were too small for me to see without magnification looking through a solar filter. To complete the session I observed Venus both naked eye and in the bins. At 22x magnification, Venus in last quarter is obvious. Astromick's image shows this nicely.

I packed up, walked around the Pond, stopped to observe the Black-crowned Night-Herons, and exited the park.

One couldn't ignore the Sun, but many did. Just like the night sky, just a few look up. A huge red-orange lozenge suspended over the street for all to see. This was boldness!! The Sun was still bright enough to cause some discomfort when looking more than a brief moment. I held the solar paddle up to the sun though it appeared weakly. The atmosphere abated the luminosity and brilliance. Reds and orange dominated this scene, a classic sunset.