The sky was so clear and blue yesterday afternoon that I decided to pull the tarp off of the scope and image the sun. I am happy to report that everything went very smoothly even though it has been two weeks since my last time working at the scope.

I went out at 1415, captured two sunspot images, and had everything put away by 1450. The temperature was 39 degrees, and there was an occasional, but not constant, stiff breeze. I had on a light coat, and other than my hands getting a little chilly, I was comfortable for the short period that I was outside. Atmospheric seeing was horrible making focus very difficult, even during periods of surface calm. Even so, I felt pretty confident in my focus, because I was able to see the contrast greatly improve over a very narrow range as I racked it in and out.

The NP101 was still on the G-11, and I added the ZWO ASI178. In hindsight, the ASI290 with an R or IR filter might have been a better tool for the job, since the red end of the spectrum is less affected by bad seeing. Using the flip mirror, I was able to find the sun within the eyepiece FoV.

My first image was AR2978, which had a very large sunspot with several smaller sunspots nearby. My second image was a group of four active regions (2975, 2976, 2977 and 2980) with 2976 having the largest sunspot, and 2975 having the most sunspots. I was not able to see any detail in the penumbra of the largest sunspots. Images are posted to flickr.

Other than seeing a need to clean up the optics, I did not encounter any issues that require further attention.

Sun - 2022-03-29 18:21 UTC
AR2975, AR2976, AR2977 and AR2980
Sun - AR2978 - 2022-03-29 18:20 UTC

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