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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Optics
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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.