The clouds finally cleared on thursday to reveal a hazy layer rather than clear blue skies, however looking through the scope the layer was at least homogenous in its density and as a result meant I stood at least half a chance of getting an image in. I had to crank up the gain from the usual default 260 all the way upto 425 which meant the resultant image is a little noisier and lacking in contrast than I like when it comes to post processing, however presented at this scale it has turned out ok. This was taken with the Coronado DS40 at f20 with the the DMK31 camera and is a 6 pane mosaic assembled in photoshop CS4.
Friday, 23 August 2013
Monday, 19 August 2013
I love the detail that is visible in this shot of AR11823 and surrounding solar surface - it is churning with the intense magnetic field lines. Taken with the 100mm PST mod at 2000mm fl with the DMK31 camera.
The southwestern quadrant of the sun was absolutely teeming with activity, including a huge prom on the limb, no doubt one of the many filaments we have had lately that has gradually rotated round and presented us with a different view of itself. 100mm PST mod at 2000mm fl with DMK31 camera.
An emerging active region and a lonely filament were the only features of note in the northern hemisphere of the sun on sunday 18th august. 100mm 2000mm fl DMK31.
The solar southern hemisphere is still alive with activity - spots, plage, filaments, filaproms, proms - you name it, it's there. This 6 pane mosaic taken with the DS 40 records this well.
Sunday, 18 August 2013
This huge active region has been the star of the show over the past week on the sun, and in the process has thrown off a couple of M-class flares. The image was taken with the 100mm refractor, Lunt solar wedge, baader continuum filter and DMK31 camera.
It seems to have been a while since I did a white light full disk, mainly because there has been so little on show, but the southern hemisphere seems to be finally waking up and presents us with some spots to photograph. This image was taken with the 100mm scope at f5 with the DMK31 camera and baader continuum filter.
Saturday, 17 August 2013
I saw a gap in the endless walls of cloud that were blowing over Anglesey on tuesday morning. Unfortunately was only long enough to grab 2 frames to make this mosaic of the southern hemisphere, however it was worth it. Lots to see in this shot, active regions, filaments, filaproms, prominences and bright plage regions. This image was taken with the Coronado DS40 at f20 with the DMK31 camera.
Monday, 12 August 2013
This active region is crackling with activity, with small loops and ribbons of solar plasma held aloft by magnetic fields. Judging by the jet spicules on the limb there is more activity going to be rounding into view in the coming days. In order to get this shot I upped the focal length to 3200mm using the 100mm PST mod and DMK31 camera. It's just on the limits of the seeing conditions but I reckon this image works!
A large prominence was visible on the limb, and rope like rivers of plasma can be seen on the disk in this shot taken with the 100mm PST mod at 2000mm fl with the DMK31 camera.
A lovely prominence was visible on the north eastern limb of the sun on saturday. I love the detail in the spicules that is visible! Taken with the 100mm at 2000mm fl with the DMK31 camera.
There's not a great deal of activity left in this active region as it draws ever closer to the western limb, however the filament should turn into and interesting prominence as it rounds the edge of our star. Taken with the 100mm at 2000mm fl with the DMK31.
Just over the limb, this filament was really easy in the double stack setup, but altogether more tricky in single stack. Still, good seeing and transparency helped to tease out the delicate details in this image taken with the 100mm at 2000mm fl with the dmk31.
The sun finally came out (in between clouds!) on saturday afternoon here in Anglesey, so I was keen to build on the mornings imaging session where I got a lovely full disk. I tried for some time with my double stack system, however now have a dilemma to solve; If I run the optical train with everything flush there are reflections I need to deal with, I have a perfectly on band double stack image, but there is a ghost reflection partially superimposed over the top of the disk. If I tilt the etalon assembly, then apart from creating a 'sweet band' because it is tilted beyond its operational range then it also causes a shift of focus across the field of view as the refocusing optics are also tilted. So, a problem to solve, I think the route I will follow is to try and find a circular polariser to mount between the 2 etalon assemblies, however this is not straight forward and I need to find one that has a high transmission at ha wavelengths... hmmm... Anyway, after much twisting and tilting I decided to resort back to single stack and got this mosaic of the swathe of activity that has suddenly appeared in the suns southern hemisphere. This was taken with the 100mm at 2000mm focal length using the DMK31 camera. I'm pretty pleased with the detail that has come out!
Sunday morning dawned with low cloud, however after checking sat24.com I realised there was a clear band heading stright for us in Anglesey where we are currently on holiday. I knew I had about 15 minutes at most of clear skies and so opted for the Coronado double stack 40mm knowing I could set it up (and down!) quickly. I was not to be disappointed, the sun was putting on quite a show with great prominences, active regions and a huge filament! I tried a new method of sharpening in post processing in Photoshop CS4 which seems to have recovered some really fine detail. This is a 6 pane mosaic taken with the DS40, 2x barlow and DMK31 camera.
Friday, 9 August 2013
A second run out for the new PST double stack module; a distinct procedure meant setting the etalons up with respect to each other and the OTA was much quicker. The left hand side of these images is out of focus due to some slip in one of the adapters, but have made a new one of these now so should hopefully remedy it. I'm really liking the extra detail double stacking brings out, in particular on filaments as can be seen in this image taken with the 70mm scope, 1.6x barlow and DMK31 camera.
This shot was taken with the 70mm PST mod double stacked using the 1.6x barlow. I love the way the solar surface has a fluffy almost 3D appearance to it!
Sunday, 4 August 2013
For sometime now I have been planning to make a double stack module for my PST mod. When I recently acquired another etalon, upon amassing all the necessary adapters and bits I was ready to go. I had tried this previously but had been plagued by both reflections and sweetspotting issues. However since then have given the matter much thought and between the 2 etalons had make sure there were antireflective coatings a plenty. It took me some time to get both etalons working as an effective double stack unit, they both have to be rotated to their optimum position relative to the OTA, and then also rotated to optimum position to each other to throw reflections and to achieve an even image. Despite the worst conditions possible to do this - fast passing clouds and rain showers, I was pleased with the results I got. With this in mind the next step is to 'clock' the etalons with respect to each other so that optimum performance can be achieved quickly when setting up. This shot was taken with the 100mm at 1600mm focal length with the DMK31 camera.
Even though this is a quiet piece of the suns disk the double stacked PST module on the 100mm refractor really does show off the small scale texture on the suns surface. I love the delicate little prominence!
Taken with the 100mm TAL refractor and PST double stack module at 1600mm focal length, conditions meant this image is a little softer than would like, but for a first light with the double stack module i'm pleased.
It took a while to get the frame on band and even enough to stack panes for this full disk but got there in the end. Conditions were about as bad as you can get for this - fast moving clouds interrupted the view on numerous occasions and slow moving bands of higher level haze played hell with the transparency. OK, there is banding on this image, but for a first light I don't think has come out too bad. This is 12 panes with double stacked PST mod with the 1.6x barlow lens and DMK31 camera.
Friday, 2 August 2013
August started with a 'heat-blip' here in the UK, with the hottest temperatures for several years being recorded. I thought this might have an adverse effect on the seeing conditions but I could not be more wrong. Seeing was very very good and I quickly upped the focal length from 2000mm to 3200mm on the 100mm PST mod, even at this focal length results were very good, and the picture above shows the fiery nature of our star. It should be cloudy for months now, as I finally have all the components I need to do a double stack PST mod. Early attempts were thwarted by reflections from between the 2 etalons, but now I think I (hopefully!) have a solution to this. As soon as the sun returns from behind the clouds I will do a fest light test - fingers crossed!
The closeup version of this frame is again taken with the 100mm pst mod but is a 6 pane mosaic taken at 3200mm focal length. The full size version on flickr has lots of detail!