Seattle Sun- Smoke filtered sunlight

this is the main message area for anything solar :)
Post Reply
User avatar
Way More Fun to Share It!!
Way More Fun to Share It!!
Posts: 7733
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:33 pm
Location: Lancashire, UK
Has thanked: 811 times
Been thanked: 710 times

Seattle Sun- Smoke filtered sunlight

Post by Carbon60 » Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:21 pm

A good friend of mine living in Seattle sent me this image of the Sun taken on an i-phone using only natural sunlight filtered through smokey skies from the unprecedented West Coast wild fires.
Seattle Sun.jpeg
Seattle Sun.jpeg (477.64 KiB) Viewed 176 times

H-alpha, WL and Ca II K imaging kit for various image scales.
Fluxgate Magnetometers (1s and 150s Cadence).
Radio meteor detector.
More images at

User avatar
Way More Fun to Share It!!
Way More Fun to Share It!!
Posts: 2758
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:30 pm
Location: San Luis Potosi, México
Has thanked: 1292 times
Been thanked: 919 times

Re: Seattle Sun- Smoke filtered sunlight

Post by rsfoto » Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:53 pm

Hi Stu,

That is incredible how far the smoke has already travelled.

:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

regards Rainer

Observatorio Real de 14 San Luis Potosi Mexico

User avatar
Way More Fun to Share It!!
Way More Fun to Share It!!
Posts: 2750
Joined: Thu Sep 05, 2019 12:19 am
Location: Edneyville North Carolina U.S.A.
Has thanked: 1024 times
Been thanked: 1162 times

Re: Seattle Sun- Smoke filtered sunlight

Post by DeepSolar64 » Fri Sep 18, 2020 4:37 am

I remember seeing the sun like this when we had a forest fire within 4 miles of my home two summers ago.

Lunt 8x32 SUNoculars
Orion 70mm Solar Telescope
Celestron AstroMaster Alt/Az Mount
Meade Coronado SolarMax II 60 DS
Meade Coronado SolarMax II 90 DS
Meade Coronado AZS Alt/Az Mount
Astro-Tech AT72EDII with Altair solar wedge
Celestron NexStar 102GT with Altair solar wedge
Losmandy AZ8 Alt/Az Mount
Traq 60mm with Baader AstroSolar film
Lunt, Coronado, TeleVue, Orion, Celestron and Sears eyepieces

Image Visual Observer
" Way more fun to see it! "

User avatar
Posts: 23575
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2011 5:25 pm
Location: Cheshire, UK
Has thanked: 2079 times
Been thanked: 719 times

Re: Seattle Sun- Smoke filtered sunlight

Post by Montana » Fri Sep 18, 2020 7:06 am

It is very sad to see this Stu but makes a super picture ;) It seems from Spaceweather today that the smoke is getting very high into the atmosphere and can now be seen in Europe :(


Way More Fun to Share It!!
Way More Fun to Share It!!
Posts: 1304
Joined: Mon May 18, 2020 4:45 pm
Location: Essex, S.E.England
Been thanked: 590 times

Re: Seattle Sun- Smoke filtered sunlight

Post by EGRAY_OBSERVATORY » Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:24 am

As Alexandra says, even in the Netherlands the effects of the smoke seems to have travelled.

Apparently Mount Wilson Observatory was at risk from the fires themselves... says;- "The Bobcat Fire, which erupted on Sept. 6th in the Angeles National Forest, is out of control and threatening the historic observatory. On Tuesday afternoon, the blaze was within 500 feet of the facility. Firefighters saved it using a variety of tactics, including carving out lines by hand and with bulldozers, setting strategic backfires (indeed, the photo above might be a backfire), and dropping water from airplanes. After two harrowing nights of firefighting, the observatory still stands. unquote...


User avatar
Bob Yoesle
Almost There...
Almost There...
Posts: 582
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:24 pm
Been thanked: 27 times

Re: Seattle Sun- Smoke filtered sunlight

Post by Bob Yoesle » Sat Sep 19, 2020 12:39 am

Smoke filtering.jpg
Smoke filtering.jpg (67.86 KiB) Viewed 128 times
About seven days ago in eastern Washington State. Visibility about 800 meters. Then it got worse, for a few days visibility less than 400 meters, and no sun at all. We've had to wear an N95 mask for the smoke for the limited times we went outside (let alone Covid 19 exposure prevention when grocery shopping in town). With everything else going on, it truly felt apocalyptic.

Today there is some relief with improved visibility and rain in the forecast...

At the same time, it's been very dark at night. Two days after the picture above (Sept 13) a friend got the darkest reading ever on his dark sky meter, with zenith sky brightness below 23 m/arcsec^2:
Mckeag SQM Mosier OR.jpg
Mckeag SQM Mosier OR.jpg (123.77 KiB) Viewed 128 times
"Our clear, moonless night sky ZSB is nominally about 21.7. Last night we reached that value soon after the start of astronomical dusk. ZSB continued to decrease until moonrise at 01:45, reaching darkest measurements of 23.02 mpsas. Following moonrise ZSB increased steadily, reaching 21.4 10 minutes after start of astronomical dawn."

Note the AQI inset in the graphic above - the Air Quality Index - was in the "hazardous" 400-500 range and above:

our_airq_idx_h.jpg.jpg (50.63 KiB) Viewed 128 times

Diagonally parked in a parallel universe.

Curiosity is the father of knowledge; uncertainty is the mother of wisdom.

Goldendale Observatory

Dark-Sky Defenders

User avatar
Posts: 29073
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 5:27 pm
Location: Brierley Hills, UK
Has thanked: 1953 times
Been thanked: 760 times

Re: Seattle Sun- Smoke filtered sunlight

Post by marktownley » Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:05 am

Cool pic! Reminds me when the storm in october? a couple of 3 years ago brought up Saharan dust to the UK and had a similar effect on the sun.

Solar images, a collection of all the most up to date live solar data on the web, imaging & processing tutorials - please take a look!

Post Reply