EXPLORING OUR NEAREST STAR
At this observatory, my focus is mainly on solar astronomy. I use special filters to look at the Sun in H-alpha (656.2nm) and Calcium K-line (393.3nm) wavelengths. These filters show me different interesting phenomena happening on the Sun's surface.
The H-alpha filter helps me keep an eye on solar flares, protuberances, and Ellerman bombs. These are small but very bright explosions on the Sun's lower chromosphere. They usually happen in places with strong magnetic fields and near emerging flux regions. Even though they're small compared to the Sun, Ellerman bombs are enormous on a human scale. Just one of them releases as much energy as 100,000 atomic bombs that were used in World War II. Yet, they still look tiny next to a single sunspot.
With Calcium K-line filter I observe sunspots and faculae, these pale tendrils have almost the appearance of a spider web and they indicate the presence of strong magnetic fields around sunspots. This filter operates in the near-ultraviolet light, passing only a very specific bandwidth through and is passively cooled by a heat-sink. In comparison, the layer of the photosphere seen with this filter exists slightly beneath than the layer observed using Hydrogen-alpha filter. The capacity to analyze both the Calcium K and Hydrogen-alpha lines offers important insights into the structure of our nearest star.