Sunday, 29 March 2020

Ha Full Disk 29th March

The first full disk of British Summer time and little changes on the sun in terms of activity; again a few small bright points but today a few small brighter proms made the view through the eyepeice in single stack mode quite pleasant.  This image was taken with the double stacked travelling scope - a 50mm Lunt etalon and Daystar Quark along with the PGR GH3 U3 916M camera.

Saturday, 28 March 2020

Ha Full Disk 27th March

Another incredibly quiet sun, a few small filaments near the poles and a few bright points are all that can be seen.  Taken with the 50mm Lunt Etalon on the 60mm f6 scope double stacked with the Daystar Quark.  Camera used was the PGR GH3 U3 916M.

CaK Full Disk 27th March

Another quiet calcium disk all bar a few brighter patches here and there.  Taken with the Skywatcher ED80 stopped down to 60mm, with the 1.4x Magnimax, home brew CaK filter and the PGR GH3 U3 916M camera.

CaK Closeups 27th March




More closeups in Calcium light taken with the Skywatcher ED80 stopped down to 60mm aperture, the revelation 3x barlow lens, home brew CaK filter and the PGR IMX174 camera.  This setup is rapidly becoming one of my favourite setups for calcium imaging as it is fairly impervious to all but the worst seeing conditions.  Very little post processing has been done on these images and are very much as they come off the camera.

Friday, 27 March 2020

Ha Full Disk 26th March

Quiet in Ha again, hints of polar crowns trying to form in both hemispheres, a few bright flux regions but that's about it.  Prominences are small and faint too.  Taken with the travelling kit; the 50mm Lunt etalon on the 60mm f6 scope double stacked with the Daystar Quark, Baader solar telecompressor to reduce image scale and the FLIR GH3 U3 916M CCD camera.

CaK Closeups - 26th March



Switching to the GH3 IMX174 camera now, and the 3x barlow with the same scope and stop down gives a lovely sample rate, and, the fast frame rate of the camera means I can take lots of frames, and then where the quality graph has its peaks, there's a good enough chunk of images to stack despite the poor seeing. One of the close ups has a final image quality value of 900+ and the other 2 were 800+, absolute minimal sharpening and post processing were applied to these...

CaK Full Disk 26th March

The FD was taken with the ED80 stopped down to 60mm, the 1.4x magnimate and the Grasshopper GS3 U3 916M.

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Prominences 25th March



By far the star of the show on wednesday was the display of prominences, these were all faint and difficult to see visually, but they showed up well with the IMX174 camera.  Scope used was the Coronado SM90 and a revelation 2.5x barlow.

Small Emerging Flux Region 25th March

Taken with the Coronado SM90 double stacked with the Daystar Quark this image shows a small emerging flux region that has been typical of our star over the last couple of weeks.  This was the only usable image I got using this setup as the seeing was just not allowing the longer focal lengths and larger apertures.

Ha Full Disk 25th March

Still quiet in Ha wavelengths, however very small filaments are now visible around the suns polar regions.  Several small flux regions are visible, however the proms were all very faint.  Taken with the 50mm Lunt etalon double stacked with the Daystar Quark to increase contrast by reducing continuum leakage.

Calcium Closeups 25th March


Well, more mid scale than close ups,  these images were taken with the ED80 stopped down to 60mm and the revelation 3x barlow, which, seems very suited to calcium imaging, as has a high transparency at the short wavelength and also gives a sharp image.  Clear blue skies of late are a great help in imaging at 393nm.

CaK Full Disk 25th March

Another quiet day in calcium wavelengths on our star.  A couple of emphemeral bright points mark where the solar jet stream from cycle 25 is trying to push through the surface.  Taken with the ED80 stopped down to 60mm along with the homebrew calcium K filter.

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Calcium Closeups 24th March



Using the Skywactcher ED80 stopped down to 60mm to help with both bad seeing and also reducing the effects of spherical aberration, and, along with a 3x barlow and the IMX174 chipped camera to result in a good sampling ratio meant I got some have decent mid scale closeups in calcium light.  While no real main features I just concentrated on the brighter regions that are visible at the moment.

CaK Full Disk 24th March

Poor seeing meant I backed off to 60mm aperture for todays full disk in calcium.  Lots of frames in stacking and lots of files to chose from meant this was the best of a bad bunch.

Single Stack / Double Stack Comparison 24th March


Clear skies, plenty of time and poor seeing meant I decided to do a comparison between the suns disk taken with my Lunt 50 etalon, 2x cemax barlow and 60mm f6 scope, and the disk taken with the same setup replacing the cemax barlow for a Daystar Quark.  While the single stack view can offer some nice views of the prominences for all round contrast and visibility of detail the double stack setup wins hands down.

Monday, 23 March 2020

CaK Full Disk 23rd May

Poor seeing made for it's own challenges today, so imaging the CaK full disk I decided to scale the aperture back to 60mm, and also to image at a smaller scale so I was undersampling with the camera.  Given the outcome i'm quite pleased with it.

Ha Full Disk 23rd March

Another quiet day on the sun again, however the seeing was even worse than yesterday, and I though yesterday was bad.  So, adopted the line of taking more image runs, with more images in each run, with lucky imaging there is always a best image.  The disk was taken with the usual travelling kit, the Lunt 50 etalon double stacked with the Daystar Quark.

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Bright Points in CaK 22nd March

There were a large number of bright points around the solar equator indicative of cycle 24 activity.  The seeing wasn't great, but shooting lots of exposures yields a best image.  Taken with the 100mm Tal stopped down to 80mm, the 2,5x barlow and the IMX174 chipped camera.

CaK Full Disk 22nd March

It's been a while since I did any CaK imaging, but clear blue skies certainly helped, so, I decided to use the 100mm Tal refractor stopped down to 80mm to give me a focal ratio of f12.5.  The small region of activity in the centre of the disk seems to have sported a pair of pores on and off througout the day.

S6397 22nd March

Following on from the full disk shot I decided to get a closer look at the brighter points that sat around the solar equator today.  Taken with the SM90, 2.5x barlow and the IMX174 chipped camera.

Ha Full Disk 22nd March

Some weekend sunshine for a pleasant change!  The sun appears to be blank but when viewed full size there are plenty of small scale features.  Taken with the Lunt50 etalon on the 60mm f6 scope double stacked with a Daystar Quark.

Monday, 9 March 2020

AR12758 8th March - Double Stack Single Stack Comparison


Two views of the same active region, but the top one taken in double stack mode, the lower in single stack.  Double stack gives more contrast as a result of reduced continuum leakage from the photosphere.  Both shots were taken with a Coronado SM90, with the double stacked view being achieved by the addition of a Daystar Quark.

Sunday, 8 March 2020

Ha Full Disk 8th March

Conditions were far from ideal in between scudding clouds and showers following the passing of a cold front overnight, however using the lunt50 etalon double stacked with a Daystar Quark it was good to get an overview of the solar disk and the new active region that has appeared after the sun being quiet for a month.

Solar Prominences 8th March



Cycle 25 is starting to come alive,  there were numerous prominences today visible on our star.  Taken with the Solarmax 90, 2x cemax barlow and the IMX174 chipped camera.

Sunday, 1 March 2020

Ha Full Disk 1st March

Finally some weekend sunshine - it was cold and blustery, with fast moving clouds scudding through, but I did get enough time to get a full disk with the travelling kit - a Lunt 50 etalon on a 60mm/f6 scope double stacked with the Quark, camera was the grasshopper 3 ICX814. I was hoping to image a bit more extensively at other wavelengths and scales, but, the clouds returned. Still, nice to get the kit out and dust off the imaging cobwebs for the year.

Sunday, 19 January 2020

Ha Full Disk & S6348 - 19th January

With each passing day the sun gets higher and higher in the sky, and with seasonally high pressure sat over the UK this weekend allowed an opportunity to get a view of our star,  It will only be a couple of weeks until the sun is clear of of my winter tree lined horizon.  Till then it is a case of grabbing the gaps between the trees, and this Sunday afternoon allowed just that.  The sun seems at first glance blank, but in the north east quadrant a emerging flux region shows itself as a bright point, and is likely to develop as an active region as is already showing pores in white light.  Polar filaments in the northern hemisphere are already a proxy of cycle 25, and on the south western limb a flame prominence was very evident.  The disk was taken with a Lunt 50 etalon on a 60mm f6 scope, double stacked with a Daystar Quark and imaged using a GH3 camera.

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

More Cycle 25 Activity - 14th January

Check out this animation, showing activity from the SDO AIA304 channel. Look at the 10 o'clock position how a small emerging flux region develops. Given the latitude my money is on it being cycle 25...

Thursday, 9 January 2020

Development of AR12756(?) - 9th January

Cycle 25 activity seems to becoming more prevalent, and over the last 24 hours or so, and in the north western quadrant of the sun an emerging flux region soon developed into an active region (AR12756?).  This animation from the AIA1600 data shows the spot formation quite well.  

Sunday, 5 January 2020

Something About to Round The Limb? 5th January

Noticed on the STEREO animation from today looks like something is going to round the limb fairly soon. It's currently at -100 or so longitude, and it's equatorial position suggests cycle 24. You can see something in the field lines in the corona in the AIA171 image too at the inferred position.

Keep your eyes peeled folks, we may have another sunspot...

Saturday, 4 January 2020

AR12755 4th January

AR12755 from cycle 25 is still visible as an active region with sunspot but activity is declining, as the main spot can seen to be divided by a light bridge, which is a usual indicator of decay.  This image is from the Solar Dynamics Observatory, but for amateurs it is still visible as a bright area in Hydrogen Alpha, and the plage will remain visible in CaK light for many days to come.