Copyright ©2021 Deborah M. Zajac ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Have you heard about the huge sunspots that are facing Earth now? It’s been some years since there’s been some HUGE ones…big enough to fit Jupiter in them HUGE! I got excited and thought I’d dig out my solar filter and photograph the Sun since I haven’t in a long time.

I made this image September 9th in the morning just a little after the sun crested the mountains.

Sun on September 9, 2021

The biggest sunspot is AR2866, and the other big one one above it is AR2868. There are couple of little ones there too.

The big sunspots can produce big flares or CME’s – Coronal Mass Ejections so the space folks will be watching for those. CME’s can weaken the magnetosphere and they can produce blackouts. Hopefully that doesn’t happen.

It’s been some time since we could see so many sunspots on the Sun and that was at the tail end of Cycle 24 back in 2017. I find it so fascinating and thought I’d share my image with you in case you do too.

Have a lovely week-end everyone!

Fuji X-T3| Fuji 100-400mm @400mm| Orion Solar filter| PS CC 22.5

more to come…

January Morning Sun

Copyright © 2015 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

My first Sun image of the year!

There’s a large active sunspot AR2253 in the center of the sun. NOAA says there’s a 50% chance of M-Class Flare today Jan. 5, 2015 from this Sunspot region.

Solar flares are classified by their x-ray brightness in wavelength range 1-8 Angstroms.
” There are 3 categories: X-Class flares are big; these can trigger radio blackouts around the planet and long lasting radiation storms. M-Class flares are medium sized; they can cause brief radio blackouts that effect Earth’s Polar regions. Minor radiation storms sometimes follow M-Class flares. Compared to X-Class and M-Class Flare events, C-Class flares are small with few noticeable consequences here on Earth.”~

January Morning Sun

Nikon D700| AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4| AF-S Nikkor 14eII TC| Orion Solar Filter|Tripod

More to come…

Transit of Venus June 5, 2012

Copyright © 2012 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

This Transit was a rare event. A once in a Lifetime event for those of us on the West Coast, USA. The next Transit of Venus happens in 2117. I doubt anyone alive today will see it.  I didn’t want to miss this special day. I had work on Tues. the afternoon of the Transit. I knew I’d be missing First contact and the first 2.5 hours. No time-lapse for me since I wouldn’t be satisfied not having it from start to finish, but I wanted to see it and if the sky was clear get a photo or two.

The sky around my hometown was full of fluffy clouds all day. The forecast had called for clear skies, but kept changing  as the weather kept proving them wrong each hour. Monday, a friend invited me to join him at NASA Ames.  Tues. he emailed me updates  about the sky condition. Just after 2PM he emailed,  “the sky is “mostly clear”. I called my friend Dali and invited him to meet me at NASA Ames then quickly gathered my gear after work, and drove the 12+ miles to get there. I was thrilled to discover commute traffic was light heading north allowing me to drive 65mph the whole way up.

I met my friend Dali in the parking lot and together we found my friend John who stands 6’4″ a good head and shoulders above the rest of the crowd that gathered there to view the Transit.

I set up my tripod and camera/lens/solar filter and started taking  photos of the Sun with Venus making its way across the Sun.  On my photo above the large black spot is Venus, and the smaller black dots are Sunspots.

John and many other  amateur astronomers had set up their telescopes and were allowing people to get a closer view of the Transit. He’s also a Nikon user like me. He kindly let me hook my camera up to his telescope to get a bigger photograph of Venus transiting the Sun. I’ll post that soon.

Thank you John for sharing your scope, and space with me yesterday it was fun, and send my thanks again to your daughter for the goodies. The coffee cake I sampled was delicious!

Dali’s photos of the Transit are here and here.

Nikon D300s| Nikkor 80-200mm @ 200mm + Tamron 1.4x extender= effective focal length 420mm| f11| 1/200s| ISO 400| Manual Priority| Tripod

Sun May 17, 2012

Copyright © 2012 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

Still practicing for the upcoming Annular Solar Eclipse.

I’m working on getting the exposure right using Live View, and reading lots and lots of articles written by other photographers about how to go about photographing it.

This is a bit blurry you’ll notice. I think this is due to all the atmosphere between me and the sun;wind, dust, clouds, etc. This morning we have clouds in the sky.

Here’s an article I liked that has  handy settings charts for a good starting base. Here’s my friend Steven’s advice on Solar Filters. Don’t try to watch or photograph this event without proper protection for your eyes and camera! I use this Solar Filter.

I’ll be driving with friends 4-5hours away from home to view this event. Will you be traveling to view the Annular Solar Eclipse?

Nikon D300s| Nikkor 80-200@200mm+ Tamron 1.4x TC=420mm|f11| 1/200s| ISO 200| Manual Priority| Tripod| Orion Solar Filter


May 12, 2012 Sun

May 12, 2012 Sun, originally uploaded by dmzajac2004-.

Via Flickr:
Copyright © 2011 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved

I haven’t had as much time as I’ve wanted to practice using my Solar filter and I haven’t tried a time-lapse with it yet either. Too many gray days, and other
distractions have been in the way.
The Solar Eclipse is this week! I hope to get more practice before Sunday’s event.

Yes, even though I left home without my Teleconverter I did get the sunspots.

I’m using this Solar filter:

Don’t try to capture the Eclipse without using proper protection for both your eyes and camera! Get a filter made especially to view the Sun! Time may be running out for you pick up a filter I recommend calling around and if you find one jump on it. I bought one that fits the end of my lens hood.

Nikon D700| Nikkor 80-200mm @ 200mm|
Costa Mesa, California, Afternoon, Sunspots, AstroPhotography

Être en plein Soleil

Copyright © 2012 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

My first shot of the sun! I’m making baby steps further into Astrophotography with the addition of a Solar Filter. The filter came in last week, but we’ve had nothing but rain and overcast skies since then so I’ve not been able to try it out.
Today we have partly cloudy skies and no rain. I was so excited to finally have sun that I set up and started shooting and thought I was fully extended to 200mm. Sigh, I wasn’t even close!
There are clouds moving over the sun at the moment. I’ll set up again and take another shot this afternoon.
I’m so blond all too often.

Nikon D300s| Nikkor 80-200 + Tamron 1.4x extender effective length 328mm| f16| 1/40 sec| ISO 200| Manual Mode| Tripod| Solar Filter