Sunday, 30 March 2014
Sunday, 23 March 2014
Sunday was a mixture of sunshine and showers, more showers if the truth be told. However in the gaps in between the big towering cumulus clouds there were lovely deep blue skies, the seeing conditions weren't great, but the sun was out so all was good. I seem to have finally sorted out the reflections and ghost images in my homemade CaK filter system, with the reflections being well out of the field of view. As a result this has helped notch up the contrast another level, and as a result the spicule ring is seen quite clearly around the whole of the solar limb, as are the prominences that were visible today. It is also just possible to make out the tenuous outline of the filaments that were visible around 5 o'clock on the solar disk. This shot was taken with the tiny 40mm scope at f20 with the DMK31. I did try the 100mm scope today, but there was a reflection / ghost from the internally mounted triband ERF was very obvious after seeing the crystal clear images from the 40mm; I may revert back to using the Lunt solar wedge as an ERF in the 100mm scope to completely remove any ghosts from this imaging rig. I've just ordered a Vixen 70mm f10 scope with the view of producing high res full disks and medium scale close ups when the seeing doesn't allow me to use the 100mm, I will use the Beloptik tri-band ERF externally on this as the tilt of it will be much easier to control in this situation. It's less than a week now until the clocks go forward, which is most definitely good news for solar observing - more time to observe on the evenings after work.
Tuesday, 18 March 2014
My recently constructed homebrew CaK filter is proving itself to be a cut above the commercially available units as can be seen in this 40 frame animation which spans about 20 minutes of real time in the life of our star. Normally the spicule layer and prominences on the solar limb cannot be seen in CaK wavelengths, and can only normally be viewed in Ha light at the other end of the spectrum. I knew this region was going to be a suitable target with the active regions just about to pass over the limb likely to be throwing out plasma held aloft by the magnetic field lines. The seeing conditions were not ideal for working at the 2000mm focal length the 100mm scope was running at for this animation, but I didn't want to miss the chance of capturing this. In better seeing conditions with some post flare loops the results would be stunning - i'm sure i'll get the chance at some point in the year! hopefully!
This monster active region is pretty large, but is also fairly quiet in terms of overall activity, infact the spot appears to be dying back a bit in this image taken with the 100mm telescope at 2000mm focal length with the DMK31 camera.
I thought I had my reflection / ghost image issue sorted with my homebrew CaK filter, but it would appear to have come back - maybe some of the elements loosened? I guess I will have to strip it back and rebuild! This shot was taken with the 40mm ota at f20 with the DMk31 camera.
There was a lovely filaprom visible on the southern edge of our star on sunday, framed nicely with the active region in this mosaic image taken with the 100mm PST mod at 2000mm focal length with the DMK31 camera.
This large single spotted active region was crackling away but never really did any large scale flaring. The image was taken with the 100mm PST mod at 2000mm fl with the DMK31 camera.
Wednesday, 12 March 2014
Must be heading for a record here - 4 days in a row i've been able to image our star, and while it may not be quite as active as it was a month ago there is certainly plenty going on. There were some really nice filaments and prominences visible in the sunset shot taken with the Coronado DS40 at f10 with the DMK31 camera.
It was getting pretty close to sunset when I shot this CaK image of the sun resulting in a flattened disk as a result of atmospheric refraction. Despite the low sun the proms still came out in this image, just about, taken with the 40mm ota at f10 with the DMK31 camera.
Tuesday, 11 March 2014
I managed to image the sun for 3 days in a row today, not bad seeing as I only managed about 3 times in the last 3 months over the winter months. I was a bit later getting back from work today and the sun was only 5 degrees above the horizon when this shot was taken with the 40mm ota at f10 with the DMK31 camera, but I was pleasantly surprised at how the prominences in this CaK image of our star mirrored those visible in the Ha image I took a few minutes before. My homebrew CaK filter is working beyond all my expectations!
I noticed when I process this wl picture of the sun that it wasn't even round, mainly due to it being only 4 degrees above the horizon when the image was taken. I'm also trying out a subtle variation in colour for my wl shots with this image...
The sun was really quite low in the evening sky on monday after work when I took this image, and I was surprised at how well it actually came out. There are still proms visible on the limb in this shot taken with the 40mm ota at f10 with the DMk31 camera.
My first wl full disk in a while here, taken with the 40mm at f1on with the DMK31 camera. It's small scale and doesn't really show much detail but you do get a general overview of what is going on.
Sunday dawned with lovely blue skies and so I was keen to try out the latest embellishment of my homebrew CaK filter: Previous imaging runs had revealed problematical reflections and I had introduced some Schott BG25 glass in between the reflective elements of the filter train. This worked well in removing the reflection and generally increasing the contrast to the point the proms were fairly easily visible at CaK wavelengths.
This is the first real run from the 100mm PST mod this year, and when looking at the image on the screen i was initially disappointed and thought it was lacking in contrast, however after seeing the image that came out after post processing I was pleased with the result! I just wish I had taken a few more images at this wavelength on sunday.
Monday, 3 March 2014
This cropped shot taken with the 40mm at f20 really shows well how the homebrew caK filter is picking up the proms in this image. What looks like the spicule layer in Ha is easily visible, along with numerous prominences. I'm really looking forward to exploring and hopefully improving the capabilities of this filter as the year progresses, it's going to be am interesting one!
Here I upped the focal ratio of the 40mm up to f20 with the idea of making a higher resolution full disk. Alas the clouds were having different ideas, still I managed 2 panes. Note the proms are still easily visible.
There was much to see on sundays sun, alas passing clouds made any longer imaging runs quite difficult. Still, this 2 pane mosaic has turned out nice, and was taken with the 100mm PST mod at 2000mm focal length using the DMK31 camera.
The sun is seething with energy at the moment; loads of active regions on the disk are sending charged particles hurtling towards Earth resulting in aurora borealis even visible from the UK - more to follow on this!