Boiling Sunspots

Monika Landy-Gyebnar imaged this sunrise from Hungary on 2nd Nov �15.

As the sun climbs its rays pass through multiple temperature inversion layers that split and distort its image. The effect is relatively weak. When the inversions are stronger a mock-mirage is seen. When very strong indeed the sun might rise unexpectedly early � a Novaya Zemlya effect.

At lower middle a huge sunspot group stretching 12 Earth diameters across the disk has survived (just!) the atmospheric distortion.

Images ©Monika Landy-Gyebnar, shown with permission
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The sunspots (Active region 12433) a day earlier in the near monochromatic light of excited hydrogen atoms.

Eyepiece sketch by Les Cowley - 60mm H-alpha scope 80X. The different tilt is purely the effect of Earth's rotation.

Never look at the sun through any optical equipment - cameras or telescopes - unless it is professionally designed for safe solar viewing.

A few video frames. The sunspot group appears to alter from second to second as the sun climbs through the temperature layered air.