Saturday, 28 February 2015
The weather and work has not been conducive to solar observing lately, but despite being covered in cloud at ground level the Solar Dynamics Observatory has no such constraints. Our star has been really quiet for several days now, but at lunchtime friday all of a sudden just exploded with sunspots as this animation over 36 hours shows. If they carry on at this rate there will be some potential for solar flares too...
Posted by Mark Townley at Saturday, February 28, 2015
Saturday, 21 February 2015
As this active region passed over the limb there was crown of bright plasma coming from it, in particular I like the mini loop that is visible. Taken with the ED80 stopped down to 60mm with the Beloptik Tri-band ERF, homebrew CaK filter and DMK31 camera running at 1050mm focal length.
Couple of nice active regions here, shame the spots in them aren't a bit bigger, but, they look to me like they might develop a bit. Taken with the ED60 at 1050mm focal length with the homebrew cak filter and the DMK31 camera.
Friday, 20 February 2015
Tuesday, 17 February 2015
To say I am pleased with the Skywatcher ED80 I recently bought is an understatement. It excels on all levels in both CaK and Ha light, i've not tried it in whitelight, but, I have every confidence with it. One of the reasons I got it was so that when I stopped it down to 60mm it would be operating at f10 and making a perfect complement for my CaK filter, it also fills a gap between my 40mm and 80mm CaK setups, and I was optimistic I would be able to use it on a fairly regular basis. Well everytime I have used it the scope has surprised me in a positive way, and today is no different. I have been experimenting this half term with the use of extension tubes to amplify the power of barlows, and the combination I used for this image gave me an effective focal length of 1500mm, which, for 60mm aperture and the DMk31 is pretty much spot on for Nyquists limit in terms of image sampling. Certainly the image is dripping with detail, and shows when used correctly what small apertures can achieve.
This active region really has fizzled to nothing over the past couple of days, and is now no more than a patch of plage. Still, the sun is virtually featureless at the moment so it makes for one of the more interesting bits never the less. Taken with the ED60 at 1500mm focal length with the homebrew CaK filter and the DMK31 camera.
After a good couple of weeks of entertainment the last remnants of the huge filaprom that has been with us is passing over the limb of the sun. Less than perfect conditions for the shot but one to take never the less. taken with the ED80, double stack quark, 0.5x reducer and DMK31 camera.
Far from ideal conditions when I took todays Ha shots with hazy cloud, however this active region is about to pass over the limb so always good to get a capture as the weather forecast for the days ahead isn't good. This was taken with the ED80, double stacked quark, 0.5x reducer and DMK31 camera.
Monday, 16 February 2015
I was messing around today trying to reduce the image scale down from the Quark, at 4.3x native focal length it is just too much, certainly for me in my conditions, so I tried increasing the distance of my 0.5x reducer from the chip to to decrease the magnification factor. As the 3 black and white images show form today it kinda worked, but I had a focal shift of left to right across the image, i'm hoping i've dealt with this and hoping that tuesday gives me some more clear skies to test my ideas further, but, first results are promising. Taken with the ED80 DS quark, DMK31 and focal reduce to give an effective focal length of approximately 1300mm.
It's amazing the difference just over 24 hours makes; yesterday the filaprom was looking spectacular, today it was creeping around the limb. Tomorrow it will be all but gone, maybe? This image was taken with the ED80, DS quark and DMK31 camera.
Sunday, 15 February 2015
I woke this morning to gloriously clear and blue skies, and straight away my thoughts went to what the filaprom of the last couple of days had transformed into; well, I wasn't going to be disappointed when I looked through the double stacked Quark and saw it had taken on the appearance of a huge wall of fire. The shot was taken with the ED80 and double stacked Daystar Quark with a 0.5x focal reducer and Imaging source DMK31 CCD camera.
This active region is far from active, but the double stacked quark makes it look like it seething mass of plasma, infact it is pretty quiet and lacking in any dynamism, but, it makes for a nice picture. Taken with the ED80, double stacked Quark, 0.5x focal reducer and the Imaging Source DMK31 camera.
A lovely start to the day here in Anglesey, clear skies, great to watch the sunrise over the mountains. I was setup ready to image as soon as the sun was high enough and our star presented plenty to look at today. Low (ish) temperatures means it's difficult to get the DS40 on band, but this shot still shows a range of features. Taken at 560mm focal length with the DMK31 camera.
Saturday, 14 February 2015
This magnetically neutral line of plasma has been putting a great show on our star for nearly 2 weeks now, and, as it passes over the limb it continues to impress with it's dramatic views. This image was taken with the double stacked Daystar Quark with the Skywatcher ED80 scope, 0.5x focal reducer and Imaging Source DMK31 camera. What creature of the sea is it? Shark or Orca?
The million kilometer filament that was visible a week ago has now become a filaprom as it passes over the solar limb. This was very easily picked up with the the homebrew CaK filter and the 60mm scope at 1050mm focal length with the Imaging Source DMK31 camera.
The 60mm scope at 1050mm focal length was proving itself to be an excellent combination in less that ideal seeing and sky conditions on a cold a chilly valentines day afternoon. Taken with the homebrew CaK filter and the DMk31 camera.
Tuesday, 10 February 2015
This is my favourite image from sundays session in CaK light as it hints at what the ED80, stopped down to 60mm, is capable of. While not perfect the seeing must have been slightly better than it was in the rest of the session as there is more finer detail visible. Taken at 960mm focal length with the homebrew CaK filter and the DMK31 camera.
These active regions head towards the limb with a few small proms also visible. 60mm of aperture compared to 40mm seems key in resolving the spicules on the limb. Conditions weren't great when this image was taken; low sun and high cloud, and so, as a result I look forward to putting this scope through it's paces in ideal conditions. Taken at 960mm focal length with the homebrew CaK filter and the DMK31 camera.
The huge filament currently visible on the sun gives up it's appearance in caK light as it shadows the white plage of magnetic froth beneath it. Spicules are much easier to see in this shot that was taken with the ED80 stopped down to 60mm, with the beloptik tri band, homebrew Cak filter and DMK31 at 960mm focal length.
A new active region coming around the limb - looks to be a large spot, but not much plage - maybe it is decaying? Taken with the Ed80 stopped down to 60mm, Beloptik tri-band ERF, homebrew CaK filter at 960mm focal length with the DMK31 camera.
Conditions weren't great for this image, the seeing was all over the place and softened things up a bit, however the shadow of the million km filament can be seen hiding the white magnetic froth typified of CaK images. Taken with the 40mm at 560mm focal length with the homebrew CaK filter and DMK31 camera.
Monday, 9 February 2015
The largest filament for some time is currently visible on the face of the sun, spanning over a million kilometers in length. This image was taken with the double stacked quark and my new skywatcher ed80 refractor - this seems to be a really good combination, the camera was the DMK31 with a 0.5x reducer on the nosepiece.