Saturday 8 April 2023

Sunspot seen from Thornton in Craven with a Cooke telescope

 On December 14th 1864 Thomas Wilson of Thornton in Craven in Yorkshire using a 4.25 inch Thomas Cooke & Sons telescope observed a solitary spot on the surface of the Sun. He says that in sketching the spot immediately after apparent noon, finding the penumbral outline and radial shading considerably confused and indistinct, especially on the eastern side, my attention was drawn to its surrounding neighbourhood, where I was agreeably surprised by the realisation of the elongated very minute lenticular forms, which have been compared to willow leaves, overlapping the penumbra and, and diffused over the whole surface.

Wilson goes onto say that in making 97 sketches of spots during the last three and a half years, nearly all after taking meridian transits, I never before saw anything beyond the mottled surface, which has been described as parchment, rice grain, flocculent chemical precipitate like appearances &; I have supposed that depending on the state of the air this was beyond the reach of a small telescope such as my 4.25 inch Cooke

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