Monday, 26 May 2014
The suns southern jet stream is currently the driving force in producing active regions at the moment, and this weekend was no different with them being stretched from limb to limb. The south western limb was by far the most interesting though, with a collection of small and intricate proms - one of them detatched and hovering above the solar limb held aloft by only magnetic fields. In addition there was a cluster of active regions including AR12072 very nearly on the limb putting on an interesting view with their oblique perspective - imaging in white light would have likely revealed the wilson effect. Throw in filaments and filaproms for good measure and there was plenty to see in this corner of sun. This image was taken with the 100mm PST mod at 2000mm focal length with the DMK31 camera.
These active regions aren't the most active i've seen on the sun this year, but they are active regions never the less, and NASA is suggesting there may be potential for an M-class flare from them. This is a 3 frame mosaic strip taken with the 100mm PST mod at 2000mm focal length with the DMK31 camera.
Even though the sun is relatively quiet at the moment there is still plenty to see on the CaK disk, with active regions stretching from limb to limb in the suns southern hemisphere. This shot was taken with the 40mm at 700mm focal length with a DMK31 camera.
The suns southern hemisphere continues to be the dominant hemisphere in terms of activity as can be seen with the shot taken with the 40mm at 925mm focal length, pretty much ideal in terms of Nyquists sampling theorem when used with the DMK31 camera. There was passing light cloud this morning when I took the picture which I think has softened the image up a bit, but overall i'm pretty pleased with the result.
Monday, 19 May 2014
I tried stacking 2 barlows to get this image to get me at a focal length of about 900mm for this image, which is a 4 pane mosaic. Given that I am using 40mm aperture, this is what Nyquists sampling theorem dictates should be a near perfect focal length for this setup at this wavelengtj of light, I have to say looking at the image I have to agree and are certain this is a combination I will be using again to get mid scale CaK closeups.
Some closeups of some regions in CaK taken with the 80mm at f12.5, the seeing conditions weren't great and I took dozens of images just to get 2 that were any good. Still, nice to see the fluffy look our star has at this image scale.
Sunday, 18 May 2014
Compared to recent weeks the disk is relatively quiet, there's still plenty to see as these pictures show, but the monster active regions are around the far side of our star at the moment. Here is a selection of the Ha shots I took on saturday with the 1000mm PST mod at 2000mm focal length with the DMK31 camera.
Normally I don't really bother with taking pictures of prominences, I can never seem to get them to come out right when I post process, but, not sure what I did differently with these but i'm pretty pleased with the results. They were taken with the 100mm PST mod at 2000mm focal length with the DMK31 camera.
I've been spoiled with the good seeing lately in my early morning solar sessions, so it came as no real surprise to me when imaging in the afternoon on what was the hottest day of the year to find the seeing conditions were terrible. I was hoping to get some closeup images but could only manage to get usable results with the 100mm at 1000mm focal length in CaK wavelengths. While this shows some nice detail there isn't a huge amount of difference between these and ones shot with the 40mm at similar focal lengths - the detail blurring effect of poor seeing. Still, i'm pleased with the results and it is just nice to have some summer like weather for a change.
I don't take white light shots very often, a 100mm scope only shows granulation as jelly beans whereas i'm greedy and want my granulation as polygons! Still, a couple of nice shots here, the first shows a lovely family of spots and plage slowly departing over the western limb. The close up shows something subtly different; a light bridge over the umbra carries on over the penumbra and over the surrounding the granulation, where it appears dark almost like a filament over the (relatively) lighter solar surface. The top shot was taken with the 100mm scope at 1750mm focal length, whereas the second is a stack of the 1.75x and 1.4x barlows. The Lunt solar wedge was used, with Baader continuum filter and DMK31 camera.
Saturday, 17 May 2014
Friday, 16 May 2014
Friday morning dawned with clear skies, so decided to grab a few shots before I went to work. There was a thin layer of radiation fog which meant I had to use a longer exposure than i do normally, but the pay back was that the seeing conditions were near perfect. The image was crystal clear with not atmospheric shimmering. I wish I had more time to get some bigger scopes out. If it wasn't for the slight haze I think there would have been great proms on view too. This image was taken with the 40mm at 700mm focal length with the DMK31 camera.
I managed to get out in the lovely sunshine just after 6am this morning and get me a look at our star before work. The Ha sun was looking very dramatic with a lot of filaments and a great filaprom on the eastern limb. This was taken with the DS40 at 560mm focal length with the DMK31 camera.
It seems to be the norm lately that when i'm at work it is sunny, but then when i'm back at home later in the afternoon the clouds have returned. This was the case on Thursday: however later in the evening I noticed a shaft of sunlight coming through the front window, upon looking outside saw the clouds were broken by the briefest of slow moving gaps - so decided to grab an image, the sky was hazy as can be seen by the bright sky background, and I didn't check the tuning on the etalons, just hit record on the laptop. While it's far from my best disk all things considered i'm pleased with the result! Taken with the DS40 at 700mm focal length with the DMK31 camera.
Wednesday, 14 May 2014
After spending the time this morning before work and breakfast grabbing some solar shots, it was nice to be able to get back from work and get out in the sunshine and see what was happening on our star. As it is at the moment there is plenty going on and as such lots to see. This image was taken with the DS40 using the AE barlow, which today I measured gives a 1.4x amplification factor not the 1.6x, so 560mm focal length with the DMK31 camera. I'm hoping I can get some more shots first thing tomorrow morning before work - well, that is the plan.
I'm almost starting to like the CaK sun better than the Ha sun, there's always so much going on! Especially when we have lots of active regions like we do at the moment! This image was taken with the 40mm @ 700mm focal length with the DMK31 camera.
What a difference 12 hours makes; the emerging flux region from yesterday evening that had a lovely plasma jet coming from it has now turned into a fully fledged active region with spots. The alt az mount I used is a little jumpy and bounces around if you even look at it which has resulted in a few artefacts off the limb, but either way is nice to get some sun first thing. Taken with the 40mm at 700mm fl with the DMK31 camera.
Tuesday, 13 May 2014
Tuesday was a day dominated by slow moving, torrential showers. However after I had returned from work late in the evening I was surprised to see the clouds broke and blue skies shone through. Normally it would be too late for me to image, but I have borrowed a small alt-az goto mount that I thought I would have a go with, while it's not quite the same as working with the big EQ6 mount on a pier I usually use, it does fit into much smaller spaces and is portable. What really struck me today was how bright the proms were on the eastern limb, and the small bright flame like plasma eruption near the north eastern limb - maybe an emerging flux region? Either way I was really happy to get this shot in. I hope to capitalise on the smaller mount tomorrow morning - weather permitting, and try some imaging from the back yard before work. This shot was taken with the 40mm at 700mm focal length with the DMK31 camera and the homebrew CaK filter.
Posted by Mark Townley at Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Monday, 12 May 2014
After a week of poor weather here in the UK the forecast seems to be turning for the better: Torrential rain for most of the day finally broke to beautifully clear blue skies late in the afternoon, and after returning home from work allowed me a brief window to view our star. I decided to image in CaK wavelengths, as the deep blue skies offered excellent transparency I decided to shoot away in the vain hope of catching the Proms, Well I appear to have done so in this inage taken with the 40mm at f17.5 with the DMK31 DMK camera.
This whole region is just one huge region of seething magnetic froth as can be seen from the bright white areas, in addition darker filaments can be seen as cooler material flows around the sunspots. This image was taken at 700mm focal length with the 40mm and DMK31 camera.
Thursday, 8 May 2014
I was about to delete a load of avis from my hard drive to free up some space, when discovered a handful i'd not processed from bank holiday monday. Most of them turned out to be durge because of seeing and encroaching haze, however I found this one which i think is quite nice! This image was taken with the 80mm at f20 with the homebrew CaK filter, beloptik triband ERF and DMK31 camera. I've tried a slightly different colour scheme here, not saturating the image as much, this seems to preserve the finer details on the highlights better.
Posted by Mark Townley at Thursday, May 08, 2014
Monday, 5 May 2014
This is my favourite image from the morning of the May Day bank holiday monday. I woke up to beautifully clear blue skies however I knew I only had less than an hour to get any imaging in before rapidly approaching weather fronts coming in off the Atlantic brought their attendant cloud and later rain. Given that it was only just after 8am I knew the seeing was going to be as steady as it ever is on spring days and so decided to make use of the small imaging window and take some shots in CaK wavelengths. Imaging in the near ultraviolet is prone to poor seeing conditions, so my usual method is to shoot as many avis as possible and then after stacking sort through them and find the best image. Not only is this my best image but also my favourite image from today, the detail in and around the active region and large spot is about as good as it gets at this resolution. There's even faint detail visible within the umbra of the large spot. The image was taken with the 80mm scope running at f20, 1600mm focal length, with the homebrew CaK filter and Beloptik triband ERF, and the DMK31 camera.
What a difference a day makes! Yesterday the proms in CaK were as impressive as those in Ha light, today they are all but invisible! Active regions are departing over the western limb, but with others mid disk, and new ones currently passing over the eastern limb it looks like there will be plenty to photograph in the days ahead. I feel quite lucky to get this image, I needed two shots to make this mosaic, but the gaps were very small and managed to grab a couple of hundred frames for each half. This image was taken with the 40mm at f10 with the DMK31 camera.
This little active region is fairly none descript in the scheme of things, but what really caught my attention was immediately around the penumbra of the largest spot there is a series of radiating bright points. Can't say as i've really noticed these before and not even sure exactly what they are, but they are a new one for me! The image was taken with the 80mm scope at f20 with the DMK31 camera. The seeing was pretty good when I took this image which accounts for all the fine scale detail.
Hints of prominences and the spicule layer are visible in this close up of the new active region and spot that have just recently passed over the solar limb. The image was taken with the 80mm scope at 1600mm focal length (f20) with the homebrew CaK filter, Beloptik Triband ERF and DMK31 camera.