Sunday, 22 April 2012

Giant Prom Lift Off Animation - 22nd April

Here's a 5 frame animation of todays prom lift off, as much as I could get before the clouds came back. It was beginning to get hazy when I took these so they're not as good a quality as the still frame which was taken a few minutes earlier. The animation represents a time frame of about 3 1/2 minutes, which just shows how dynamic our star actually is!

Prom Lift Off - 22nd April

Prom Lift Off by Mark Townley
Prom Lift Off, a photo by Mark Townley on Flickr.

I flipped the image to put the prom on the top for aesthetics, I think it looks better on top. I'm really pleased with this image; it shows how quick it was moving as theres blurring on the right hand side - this was only 1500 frames @ 30fps with the DMK, so gives you an idea of how fast things were developing

Ha Full Disk & Prom Lift Off 22nd April

Ha Full Disk by Mark Townley
Ha Full Disk, a photo by Mark Townley on Flickr.

I thought I had got all the imaging in I was going to today, but as I watched the weather satellite image I saw a gap of blue sky between 2 particularly organised and nasty bands of showers, as the first band passed over it whited over the ground with hail, but I could see the clear blue skies following it getting ever closer on the horizon so decided to setup. Despite it still spotting with rain I knew that only had about a 15 minute gap between the next down pour, and so started to setup regardless - one of my neighbours stood in an upstairs window watching me setup in the drizzle and must have thought I was bonkers (but I don't care!) - i'm certainly glad I did, as the view that I saw left me speechless...

I had decided to setup the DS40 in order to capture a full disk, anyway as I looked through the eyepeice to get everything lined up I could see the huge prome that had been around all weekend was in the process of lifting off - i checked GONG just to double check, and lo and behold it was indeed in the process of leaving our star...

I quickly grabbed a full disk mosaic using the DS40, a bit of banding here, but speed was key if I was to make the most of the opportunity both the sun and local weather conditions were presenting me... I think there's probably a bit out of frame looking at Alexandras capture of it, but think this puts it into perspective...

AR11462, AR114663 & Quiescent Prom

AR11462 63 by Mark Townley
AR11462 63, a photo by Mark Townley on Flickr.

Following on from yesterday I decided to be up, out and setup first thing this morning to capitalise on any blue sky that may be about before the 'april showers' kicked in; i'm glad I was ready as they ultimately started about 3 hours earlier than yesterdays. I decided to take a flat field today, and this has shown a big improvement on yesterdays image.

One thing that I am finding completely different is the post processing with single stack compared to double stack; I had tried my usual routine and found this to be completely unsuitable, however, spending sometime last night with a bottle of red and CS4 and my creative approach was soon reawakened, I think I have the basis of a single stack routine, that, give me a lil' time to refine and will get up as a tutorial...

It's a real dilemma with the poor weather we're having this april here in the UK, I wanted to (and did for a while) just look through the eyepeice, mouth open, ooo-ing and ahh-ing to myself at the 100mm views, however i'm concious while i'm doing this clouds are fast bubbling up and encroaching, and today was no excepption so I sacrficed visual views to get some imaging instead...

I was straight to the the huge prom that has graced us for the last couple of days around ARs 11462 & 11463 and it didn't fail to impress:


AR11466 by Mark Townley
AR11466, a photo by Mark Townley on Flickr.


AR11465 by Mark Townley
AR11465, a photo by Mark Townley on Flickr.


AR11460 by Mark Townley
AR11460, a photo by Mark Townley on Flickr.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

100mm PST Mod - First Light 21st April

After some time acquiring the components needed, today was first light for my 100mm PST mod. To say I was gobsmacked was a complete understatement, the jump from the 40mm i've been using to 100mm is huge in terms of resolution. I spent some considerable time taking it in visually, and before long had my entire eyepeice collection out and was comparing views. I realised quickly though that clouds were building up rapidly with the 'april showers' we have been having all this month so far and so decided to get an image in. This was taken @ 100mm f10, DMK31 stacked in autostakkert, and all other processing done in CS4. I'm hoping sunday morning brings more clear skies first thing!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Ha Full Disk - 15th April

colour  full disk by Mark Townley
colour full disk, a photo by Mark Townley on Flickr.

Some of the best proms for a while on todays disk - the one on the south pole is huge! You can see the small earth put for scale easily fitting within it!

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Friday 13th Sun

Ha full disk colour 3 by Mark Townley
Ha full disk colour 3, a photo by Mark Townley on Flickr.

Really did take some getting this image - friday was a day of towering cumulus clouds, with small, very small gaps in between, and these were short lived... I had several attempts to get the 6 panes as it kept clouding out on me, but, finally did get all 6 late in the afternoon. I made a mess of getting the flats for this, and didn't defocus as much as I should - my post avistack frames all had a dark patch, however use of the median filter, dodge and burn seems to have got rid of it. Hoping sunday is going to give me clear skies!

Ha Full Disk Tutorial

Best viewed in full screen, gives a good overview of the processing involved...

April Showers

full disk colour by Mark Townley
full disk colour, a photo by Mark Townley on Flickr.

After the pleniful observations in march last month, so far april has been a month of showers; with the trick having the clear bits of these showers for long enough... Got this full disk in Ha showing really not huge amounts of activity, the sun is very quiet especially seeing as we head towards solar maximum next year... As usual taken through the DS40 @ f20, 6 panes CS4.


ha ds400019_g4_b3_ap510 by Mark Townley
ha ds400019_g4_b3_ap510, a photo by Mark Townley on Flickr.

This cluster of spots was taken with the 100mm Tal, Baader D-ERF, Lunt Wedge & DMK31 @ f20. These results using the D-ERF seem quite promising. Interestingly this active region had been formed for some time before NASA decided to designate it.

Monday, 2 April 2012

AR11445 AR11449

AR11445  AR11449 by Mark Townley
AR11445 AR11449, a photo by Mark Townley on Flickr.

A closeup of this decaying sunspot group using the 127mm frac at 2350mm focal length, 705nm TiO2 filter and Lunt Wedge.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Ha Full Disk - 1st April

colour full disk by Mark Townley
colour full disk, a photo by Mark Townley on Flickr.

Despite a hazy day with poor seeing, it never ceases to amaze me what avistack is able to pull out of the raw data. Lots and lots happening again on our star, however my favourite today is the lovely double flame prom at 2 o'clock on the limb...