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Sunspotter

By

Witchayut Ngarmpornchai 5961183


Sakornchon Mattariganont 5961143
Asada Prashyanusorn 5961035
Jadejirat Boonprasit 5961215
Krissanapong Nimanussornkul 5961197
Thanthai Lapaviwat 5961049
Watcharit Polsen 5961154

Astronomy
Mr. Gopinath Subramanian
Mahidol University International Demonstration School
Semester 1 Academic Year 2018-2019
Abstract:
The experiment we performed is an outdoor experiment in which we attempted to
discover sunspots on the surface of the sun. We had acquired the Sunspotter from the supervisor
to help us observe and locate the sunspot more safely as we would not attempt to observe the sun
directly without protection.m
We took the Sunspotter out and we observed the spots by looking on the spots appeared in the
reflected and smaller image on the device. In the end, our Sunspotter cannot detect any sunspots
on the Sun due to that the Sun in the state of Sun’s activity is at minimum which means that we
could scarcely few sunspots for this year.

Introduction:
Despite the fact that human have for long struggled to come up with an impeccable
invention to conveniently witness the unmitigated beauty of the orange spot in the sky, for many
years, we could not invent with the fully functioning one, and when we succeeded to build one,
nevertheless, they didn’t guarantee to function as justly. A number of knowledgeable people
have pointed out that the desired, and sometimes idealistic, convenience could not subsist when
the size is confined largely to such notion of easiness and comfort, yet among all prolonged
contentions, the Sunspotter emerged. The invention allows us to view the sun and its spot. The
sunspots are the darker, cooler area of the surface of the area on the sun called “photosphere”
They are caused by interactions with the Sun’s magnetic fields whose mechanism is yet to be
fully understood. When the energy of the interaction is released, solar flares and big storms
called coronal mass ejections erupt from from the spots. Here, the Sunspotter is a seminal,
wooden, folded-Keplerian telescope which utilizes the system of mirrors and a powerful 62mm
objective lens to project a 3’’ solar image onto a white viewing screen. Its humble constitution
allows us to view the sun and its spot with safety and readiness, while its unique design–both
friendly and enticing–make the closest star a safer subject of study even by the youngest, most
pristine learner. Moreover, the Spotspotter serves many functions: viewing the sun, eclipses,
transits, daily record keeping, tracking the sun’s changing position, and daily comparison.

Sunspotter’s specification
● Telescope type: folded-path refractor, F 11, altitude-azimuth design
● Objective lens: 2-element achromat, 700 mm FL, fully coated
● Objective aperture: 61.7 mm diameter, stopped down to 57.0 mm
● Mirrors: 50 mm x 50 mm x 10mm, two @ 25 mm x 25 mm x 5 mm , <1/4 wave
● Field lens: 4-element, 12.5 mm FL Plössl, fully coated, 10 mm aperture
● Total path length: 875mm, fixed focus
● Equivalent magnification: 56x
● Approximate solar image diameter: 85 mm (3.25")
● Field of view: .75° (1.5 solar diameters)
● Pointing range: altitude 0°-30°, 30°-90° (reversed), azimuth 0°-360°
● Pointing aids: 2.2 cm gnomon (±30°), 22 cm pinhole projections (±3°)
● Frame material: 15mm 9-ply (cradle), 20mm 13-ply (telescope), Baltic plywood
● Overall dimensions (H x L x W): 40cm x 37cm x 15 cm (16" x 15" x 6")
● Total weight: 3 kg (6.6 lb.)

Observation:

Our observation on the 11 September 2018 around 10:00 am, We use the sunspotter
device to check the sunspot currently happening on the Sun which the result we got was there is
no sunspot. The reason that we see no sunspot is that the number of sunspots is in the downtrend
according to the observation of the number of sunspots every year and it is very hard to see a
sunspot since it is very rare that sunspots will occur.

The current years that we observe are 2018 which the number of sunspots should be less
than 25 according to the trend of the graph. The number of sunspot trend stays around 5 years in
an increasing trend and another around 5 years in the downtrend. The sunspot has stopped
increasing since 2014 which we predicted that the number of the sunspots will increase again
around 2019 which will increase a chance to see a sunspot.

Process:
The aiming point is used to aim the sunspotter, the solar image will appear when the
image of the Sun through the pinhole is projected. The Sunspotter is used to observe the sun or
other solar phenomena.

The sun spotter is only valid when there is sunlight shining through the machine so it will
be most effective during the afternoon because the sunspotter expose to the highest sun ray.
Through a combination of lense and plain mirror, the sunspotter provides the enlarge a good
quality image of the sun. Which the image of the sun will project on a paper about 8 centimeters
in diameter. Normally if we observe the sun directly it will damage observer eye so the lens and
mirror are needed because it will decrease the intensity of the sunlight so it won’t damage our
eye when observing the sun.

- The sun ray shine pass through the sunspotter objective lens
- The sun ray then get reflect and refract through multiples of lens and mirrors to reduce
the intensity of the light
- The ray then appear to be an image of the sun on the paper that was clipped on the
sunspotter in the viewing screen
- It is now safe to observe the sun spots on the viewing screen

Theory:
A sunspot is a region of a concentrated magnetic field with a very little magnetic field in
the surrounding region. As energy is conveyed by convection in the layers below the solar
surface immediately. Thus, a sunspot is a bunch of magnetic flux which is an integration of dot
product of two vectors, magnetic force vector and area vector, which is a vector that out from
surface and perpendicular to the surface, sitting in a region where convection is taking place. As
convection is affected by the presence of a magnetic field, if magnetic fields are present in a
region of convection, they tend to get swept in confined regions within which convection is
inhibited by magnetic tension, but the remaining regions are free from magnetic fields where
convection can take place freely. This is known as magnetoconvection. Therefore, sunspots are
regions within which magnetic fields are kept bundled up by convection. Since magnetic tension
inhibits convection within a sunspot, heat transport is less efficient within a sunspot, leading to a
cooler surface temperature there. That is why a sunspot appears darker than the surroundings.
Also, sunspot alternating its intensity every 11 years between solar maximum and solar
minimum, thus making 22 years entire cycle. Also, the differ in solar irradiance that occur during
the solar cycle affect Earth’s climate. Higher temperature on earth has cause from period of solar
maximum, while solar minimum period causes opposite result. Periods of these intense magnetic
field on the Sun can also severe space weather.

Conclusion:
In conclusion, the experiment we performed compose the elements for us to see the shape
of the sun and the sunspots and its size. We also know the mechanics of the sunspotter which is
just a simple machine made of wood, lens and, mirror. The observation itself is the basis for
developing knowledge about sunspots and its pattern.

References:
https://s3.amazonaws.com/cdn.teachersource.com/downloads/lesson_pdf/sunspotter.pdf
Sunspotter. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.bibalex.org/eclipse2006/Sunspotter.htm
Bowers, R. L., & Deeming, T. (1984). Astrophysics. Boston: Jones and Bartlett

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