Solar Photographer Spots Mercury On Its Trip Across the Sun

On May 9, 2016, over the course of seven and a half hours beginning at 7:12 a.m. EDT (11:12 UTC) Mercury passed across the disk of the Sun, appearing to observers on Earth as a small dark dot in front of the massive brilliance of our home star. While the event wasn’t visible to the naked…

Supplement Your Day With This Calcium Image of the Sun

Our Sun may be made up of 98% hydrogen and helium but the remaining two percent comprises many other elements, detectable by their unique absorption lines within the gamut of white light we receive on Earth. One of those elements is calcium, which exists in ionized form in relatively tiny amounts in the Sun’s chromosphere…

Alan Friedman on Photographing the Sun

I’ve featured many of Alan Friedman’s amazing photos of the Sun here on Lights in the Dark, starting from the very first one I came across via the venerable Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) in November 2009. I’ve even featured Alan’s work in several articles I’ve written for National Geographic News, Discovery News, and Universe…

A Backyard View of a Solar Prominence

An enormous tree-shaped prominence spreads its “branches” tens of thousands of miles above the Sun’s photosphere in this image, a section of a photo acquired in hydrogen alpha (Ha) by Alan Friedman last week from his backyard in Buffalo, NY. Writes Alan on his blog, “gotta love a sunny day in November!” Check out the full image…

Coolest. Sun Pic. Ever.

Alan Friedman does it again — and this time with a brand new camera! — in his latest photo of our home star, guaranteed to blow your mind. Check out the full image here. Image © Alan Friedman. All rights reserved.

Solar Nirvana

Hot off the presses, here’s a stunning full-disc solar photo by the inimitable Alan Friedman, taken on November 6, 2011 from his location in Buffalo, NY. Absolutely gorgeous! The enormous sunspot region AR 1339 can be seen just right of the center of the Sun. It’s nearly 17 times wider than Earth! Hydrogen alpha (Ha)…

One “Big Blemish” – AR 1339

Another fantastic image by Alan Friedman, this shows the massive sunspot region AR 1339 as it appeared on November 5, 2011 while in the process of rotating into view – and aim! – of Earth. Estimated at about 17 times the width of Earth, AR 1339 contains some gigantic sunspots capable of producing high-powered solar…

Sun Pass

Astronomy hobbyist and solar photographer extraordinaire Alan Friedman captured a wonderful image of the International Space Station transiting the edge of the Sun’s disc during a Winter Star Party in Florida on March 1, 2011. Taken with a solar telescope that images the Sun in hydrogen alpha light, the image above clearly shows the ISS…

Detachable Prominence

Here’s the latest image of the Sun from photographer Alan Friedman, showing incredible surface detail as well as the remnants of a detached prominence that had erupted from active region 1166 on March 3, 2011. This image was taken during a Winter Star Party event in West Summerland Key, Florida. “A close-up look at the…