Sunday, 3 March 2013

Lucky Imaging - AR11683 / AR11685 - 3rd March

In solar photography we do something called 'lucky imaging' - this is where to generate a picture we first take a video file of the subject that can be formed of a couple of thousand individual frames, then clever software searches through the video file to find only the sharpest frames.  Turbulence in the atmosphere forms a 'heat haze' that blurs images, so we only want to select the best that are the least distorted, we then 'stack' a number of the best frames to improve the final image still further to improve the signal to noise ratio of the picture.

Today I was taking lucky imaging to the extreme; normally I shoot 1500 frames and then stack 200, however the only break in the clouds was so brief I only managed to shoot 98 frames - that's just over 3 seconds of video!  I then used Autostakkert2 to stack the best 25 of the 98.  The image above is the result.  

AR11683 & AR11685 show a great region of the sun, there is so much going on - a whole host of sunspots, flaring, and filaments; there was even a nice prom on view too.  The region looks very angry!  The shot was taken with the 70mm PST mod, 1.6x barlow and DMK31 CCD camera.