Monday, 27 February 2012

Sundays Hazy Sun - 26th Feb

ha full disk b&w by Mark Townley
ha full disk b&w, a photo by Mark Townley on Flickr.

I'm surprised anything came of this image - it was shot through haze / thin cloud. Has the effect of softening the contrast but this is partially recovered in post processing. A great end to february solar wise, lets hope march brings plenty of clear skies.

AR1423 & AR1424 - 25th Feb

AR1423 AR1424 by Mark Townley
AR1423 AR1424, a photo by Mark Townley on Flickr.

My favourite close up of the few active regions on saturdays sun!

AR1422 - 25th Feb

AR1422 by Mark Townley
AR1422, a photo by Mark Townley on Flickr.

This lone spot formed part of AR1422 and sported an interesting light bridge! Taken with the 70mm frac @ f15, 705nm TiO filter. DMK31.

White Light Full Disk - 25th Feb

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

Considering we are not far off solar max there still isn't a whole lot going on in white light. All bar the limb spots a blank disk! This was taken with the 70mm frac @ f11, 705nm TiO filter, 6 pane mosaic assembled in IMerge.

Saturday 25th Feb - CaK Sun

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

Terrible seeing condition meant processing the frames for this was a challenge, but it was nice to be able to image at multiple wavelengths again. Good to see the super granulation again!

Saturdays H-Alpha Sun, Smart Sharpen & No Mini ERF...

As we move towards the end of february my solar viewing window has increased significantly from the 45 minutes of mid winter to well over several hours as the sun finally clears the trees and rooftops as we head into spring.

There was a whole host of interesting proms visible today, although the poor seeing and still relatively low solar altitude meant teasing out the finer details was difficult.

This was my first image taken with the mini - ERF removed from the coronado BF10 blocking filter. This is essentially just an IR filter and is surplus to requirements as my new replacement Baader ERF is fully blocked at IR and UV wavelengths. The effect of removing this as viewed through the eyepeice was a much brighter and contrastier image, with the DMK camera, the exposure time has reduced from 1/38s previouslly to 1/120s now - this represents a significant increase in light throughput. Visually this means shorter focal length eyepeices and higher magnification a now possible, which is a definite improvement!

Despite the sun still being pretty quiet, there is plenty going on for a solar astronomer!

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Ha Sun - 11th February

full disk colour 1 by Mark Townley
full disk colour 1, a photo by Mark Townley on Flickr.

Only a very brief window to grab some sun this morning, however glad I did! The suns disk is pretty quiet apart from huge active region 1416 dominating mid disk. Even the filaments today are relatively quiet. Prom action was plenty if small in scale.

Attention to detail in getting flats is paying dividends now, and this image was post processed solely in CS4 using Iterative Unsharp Mask (I-USM). I need to refine the technique a bit more yet, but it has a distinct advantage over registax wavelets in so much as doesn't produce a halo effect on high contrast features.

The good news is that the sun is now much higher in the sky, and next time I get to image my 'viewing window' will have extended to about 3 hours - the sun is well clear of the rooftops and trees. The benefit of this extra time will translate into multi wavelength imaging at a variety of focal lengths!