Wednesday, 30 July 2014
When I got home from work today I was lucky enough to capture a C9 flare in progress, this is the largest flare that has happened on our star in a good couple of weeks now, and heralds a period of increased activity for likely another 10 days or so. There will be plenty to see activity wise if the weather holds out! The image was taken with the DS40 at 560mm with the DMK31 camera.
The focus was a bit soft in this image, but was taken just as the peak of the flare had passed, it still shows a nice view of the new activity that we have on the sun at the moment. Taken with the DS40 at f17 with the DMK31 camera.
Monday, 28 July 2014
Haze and seeing softened this image up a bit compared to what I usually prefer, but it has been nice to see so much sun in the month of July. As we head ever nearer to august it looks like the Earthward face of our star is going to be covered in sunspots and active regions. All good for solar viewing! This image was taken with the 40mm scope at 700mm focal length with the DMK31 camera.
There was some haze and cloud floating around when I took this full disk shot this morning, and is a little softer than I like, but shows the activity on a star very well. Taken with the DS40 at 560mm focal length with the DMK31 camera.
I decided to try a few whitelight closeups on sunday afternoon, however the seeing was not as good as I would like and this image and the one in the previous post were the only ones that came out. This shot was taken at roughly 3000mm focal length with the 100mm scope with the lunt solar wedge. IMHO a 100mm scope is too small really for doing closeup working white light, 140-150mm is what is needed for showing the granulation as polygons rather than the 'jelly bean' shape that is shown with smaller apertures.
Sunday, 27 July 2014
Sunday was a day of clouds and clear spells, unfortunately there tended to be a lot more cloud than blue skies, however after getting a set of images with the 40mm scope I decided to get out the 80mm scope and try a few CaK closeups. I shot numerous avis as the seeing was very temperamental at the best, in between the clouds, however this image of ar12121 came out very nicely. It was taken at 1750mm focal length or f22, which seems to be a nice f ratio for CaK imaging,. As usual with the DMK31 camera.
The active regions that have rotated into view over the past couple of days are framed nicely in this image taken with the 40mm scope at 925mm focal length with the DMk31 camera. Small faint proms are also visible no doubt heralding the future arrival of more active regions.
More active regions have now rounded the suns eastern limb since yesterday giving a whole host of filament, plage and prominences to view as seen in this image taken with the DS40 at 700mm focal length with the DMK31 camera.
Saturday, 26 July 2014
I normally put colour images on my website, but with this image today I actually much prefer the way it has come out in monochrome. It shows really well the plasma twisted by magnetic fields around the latest clutch of active regions, and makes the filaprom on the limb jump out showing the 3D nature of the features on our star. This shot was taken with the DS40 at 700mm focal length with the DMK31 camera.
I had read on facebook on saturday afternoon there was a large prominence that was lifting off the sun, but when the clouds finally did clear I thought I had missed it, but cranking up the exposure and gain on the DMK31 and I was surprised at the extent of this cloud of plasma. At the scale I am imaging at I am working to 1010.3km per pixel, and at 623 pixels long, roughly, that puts the prominence at an estimated 625,000km in length, or if you prefer imperial 390,000 miles, which is nearly twice the distance from the Earth to Moon.
A closeup of the activity that is rounding the suns eastern limb at the moment. Some of these are sunspot corpses of AR12107 and AR12108 very close to the limb; 2 -3 weeks ago these were sat squarely mid disk and were the focus of much attention, but now there activity levels have dropped right off. My latest variation on a theme with my CaK filter seems to be working very well, with the problem of ghosts and reflections dealt with. As a result prominences and the double limb feature (normally only seen in Ha light) are easily and repeatably visible. Out of band blocking is the key in suppressing photospheric light and getting more contrast on the disk.
Friday, 25 July 2014
Taken with the 100mm PST mod at 2000mm focal length with the DMK31 camera this image shows the turbulent and swirling rivers of plasma that are associated with the latest batch of active regions that have rounded the suns eastern limb. Over the next several days we should see more of them pass around, and is clear skies allow give us something to be observing over the weekend.
This image was taken through the 100mm PST mod, and shows well compared to the previous image how the view varies between double stack and single stack solar telescopes. The single stack image above is a much wider bandpass compared to the double stack, and there is much more photospheric light leakage, as a result features like the filaprom are much less defined and contrasty on the disk and harder to see, despite the obvious increase in resolution in going from 40mm to 100mm aperture. This was taken at 2000mm focal length with the DMK31 camera.
There was a lovely filaprom visible as the filament that has been visible for the past several days passes over the suns western limb. The active regions in this quadrant of the sun are very quiet though. Shot taken with the Coronado DS40 at 700mm focal length with the DMK31 camera.
Thursday, 24 July 2014
A lovely filaprom was visible at 4 o'clock on the Suns limb yesterday as can be see in this image. The round donut feature left of mid disk is a dust bunny - I should clean the chip on my camera! Taken with the DS40 at 560mm focal length with the DMk31 camera.
The new activity that has rounded the limb is the past couple of days is pretty decent in size, infact the large sunspot is about 3 times the size of Earth. The STEREO spacecraft indicates there are more active regions to come round the limb in the days ahead, so should give us some decent features to observe. This shot was taken with the 40mm scope at 925mm focal length with the DMK31 camera.
Wednesday, 23 July 2014
The double limb is nearly resolved into individual spicules and takes on a feathery look in this image take with the homebrew CaK filter with the 40mm scope at 700mm focal length. In addition a large prom was also visible in almost ghostly form. This is a 'one shot' with both disk and proms being recorded simultaneously in the same exposure with the DMK31 camera. Hopefully in the next week I will be able to pick up a new scope to allow me to run at a native 60mm f10, which should do a nice job of revealing a bit more detail in the double limb in particular.
The new active region that has come around the limb looks like it could be of a decent size, and throw in a smaller active region that ha emerged to the south of it means we now have a photogenic sector of sun now rotating into view. Lots of wispy proms and a jet are visible emerging from the active region in this image taken with the 40mm scope at 925mm focal length with the DMK31 camera.
The CaK full disk shows very well the new activity that is coming around the suns eastern limb, both with the new sunspot group and also quite a few prominences that are also visible, normally a good indication of more activity not far off. The new filter configuration with extra out of band blocking is holding up well, and easily reveals the double limb and prominences, not normally features that are easily visible in CaK light. The disk was taken with the 40mm scope at 700mm focal length with the DMK31 camera.
All the filaments and active regions in the suns western hemisphere are slowly but surely marching towards the limb and will very soon pass out of view. Image taken with the DS40 at 700mm focal length with the DMK31 camera.
Tuesday, 22 July 2014
AR12119 finally emerged breaking the lull in solar activity over the past couple of days, there was lots of detail visible in the magnetically churned plasma in this shot taken with the 100mm PST mod at 1750mm focal length with the DMK31 camera.
By sunday our star was beginning to pick back up again in activity. Also the latest configuration of the CaK filter is working very well, the double limb and proms are easily visible now, and reflections / ghosts seem to be minimal.
Sunday, 20 July 2014
Yesterday there was very little happening on the face of our star, however today we have sunspot genesis as AR12119 shows signs of being an emerging flux region. The umbra and penumbra of the spot have certainly developed in 24 hours. The seeing wasn't too bad and I was able to shoot this image at 1200mm focal length, or f30 with the workhorse 40mm. I think i'm pretty much at the limit of what the demure 1.6" objective can resolve, and it days like this when a 60mm running at f20 would be better than a 40mm running at f30. I'm playing cat and mouse with the clouds this afternoon, but hopefully should manage some more images as the afternoon goes on.
Posted by Mark Townley at Sunday, July 20, 2014
Saturday, 19 July 2014
I expected the thunderstorms and torrential rain to last all day on Saturday, but was surprised later in the afternoon when the clouds cleared to leave beautifully clear blue skies. The heavy rain had really cleaned the atmosphere and transparency was excellent, given the weather that precluded these observations the seeing conditions weren't too bad either. I was pleasantly surprised to see there was a detached prom hovering above the suns western limb. This shot was taken with the DS40 at 700mm focal length with the DMK31 camera.