Sunday, 23 April 2017
A period of better seeing early in the afternoon on sunday allowed me to get another view of this active region with the 0.2m Airylab HaT telescope using the double stacked Daystar Quark, Daystar Interference eliminator and the PGR Chameleon 3 camera using 2x2 binning to get a shorter exposure time. Even though the seeing was less than perfect there were lots of swirls and whorls in the plasma that makes up the solar chromosphere. Looking forward to better seeing in the future that will allow me to make full use of the capabilities of this large aperture solar telescope.
The filament that has been hanging around for a couple of days now still hangs on while the magnetic field lines remain intact. Compared to filaments that can be quite ropey this one has quite a fluffy appearance to it, and is anchored by several footprints. Taken with the 100mm Tal100R refractor with the double stacked Daystar Quark and the PGR Chameleon 3 camera.
I caught a nice fleeting view of this active region through and in between the clouds this sunday morning, the seeing was a little soft, but I think i've finally found the best settings for the Daystar Quark on the Airylab HaT. Taken at 6.4m focal length using the PGR Chameleon 3 camera using 2x2 binning.
A quick grab of this active region not long after it rounded the limb this morning in the brief cloud breaks with the Airylab HaT, Daystar Quark and PGR Chameleon 3 camera. Seeing was ropey with the cloud but definitely better than nothing.
There were some fleeting moments of better seeing while I was getting setup with the 0.2m Airylab HaT telescope this morning. As the double stacked Daystar Quark was coming on band I managed to get this quick image of the plage region around AR12652. Using the Baader solar telecompressor and the PGR Chameleon 3 with 2x2 binning I was running at a focal length of about 6.4 metres to get this closeup view.
Albeit renumbered, this is the second time round for this active region on our star, it appears to be somewhat decayed now with a fairly inactive single spot and trailing region of plage with associated filament material. This image was taken with the 100mm Tal100R refractor with a double stacked Daystar Quark, Daystar interrerence eliminator and a PGR Chameleon 3 camera using 2x2 binning to help to freeze the poor seeing that was prevalent in the unstable northerly airmass that we currently have.
Saturday, 22 April 2017
The sky was beautifully blue today with fantastic transparency, alas the wind was blowing from a northerly direction, and with very cold air aloft this meant for terrible seeing sadly. I tried pretty much all my scopes throughout the day, including the HaT, 127mm, 80mm and 70mm scopes, all with the double stacked Daystar Quark, however by far the best bang for the buck was with the 100mm Tal100R refractor. Using a Baader Solar Telecompressor and the PGR Chameleon 3 with 2x2 binning to shorten the exposure and get a bit of under sampling in the image gave by far the sharpest results. It's a setup that i'm really starting to like! Hoping for clear skies in the morning to try some further testing with this setup.
Posted by Mark Townley at Saturday, April 22, 2017
Tuesday, 18 April 2017
Our star certainly is dynamic, this animation spans only 5 minutes, with a cadence of 4 frames a minute. I was testing out a new setup with the Tal100R refractor with the double stack Daystar Quark at 3000mm focal length using the PGR Chameleon 3 with 2x2 binning to give a short expose time of only 1-2ms. No flat here, as can be seen by the dancing dust bunnies. I'm really impressed to get these dancing jet proms and some coronal rain falling back towards the suns surface.
This active region has now been declassified and is not really more than a slightly more active patch of plage. I did a timelapse over 10 minutes, with 4 frames per minute, you can see the forest of spicules waving like pampas grass. Taken with the 100mm Tal100R Refractor, double stacked Daystar Quark and the PGR Chameleon 3 with 2x2 binning.
Tuesday, 11 April 2017
The main focus of todays activity on the sun was focused in the north eastern quadrant, with recently rounded active region AR12650, and a gorgeous flame prom on the limb. I was messing around with some different configurations with the 100mm Tal100R refractor and the double stacked Daystar Quark, Baader telecompressor to give an effective focal length of about 3 metres. The sky was overcast with thin cloud and the seeing was all over the place so I decided to use the PGR Chameleon 3 with 2x2 binning to get a much shorter exposure time. This seemed to work well, and I was pleasantly surprised with both of the images I got in todays session. The Quark worked particularly well with the Tal100R with the seeing like this, so, with a couple of screw on adapters to make things a little more orthogonal to the optical axis, and I could well be using this setup a little more!
This little active region is barely a patch of plage in Calcium light, but in Ha remains pretty interesting! Looks like a wave of plasma washing over it. Taken with the 100mm Tal100R refractor, double stacked Daystar Quark and PGR Chameleon 3 using 2x2 binning in an attempt to tame the seeing. Given the thick haze all day i'm very pleased with the result!
Sunday, 9 April 2017
The seeing was pretty reasonable first thing this morning, with the solar scintillation monitor recording a steady ~1.5 arc second seeing until about 10.30am before the quality started to fall away pretty rapidly. It was nice to see the live view so steady on the laptop screen. This little active region is essentially just plage now, with no sunspots visible, but there were a few bright points and a small filament connecting the magnetic field lines. I took this image with the 203mm Airyab HaT at 5600mm focal length with a double stacked Daystar Quark and a PGR GigE IMX249 Blackfly camera along with the Daystar Interference Eliminator to tame some Newtons Rings.
The seeing was starting to get a bit ropey when I took this image of the new active region that is rounding the suns eastern limb, but it does look like there might be something more to see as it becomes more geo-effective. There is certainly a filament there and also some sunspots which were seen clearer in CaK light. Taken with the 203mm Airylab HaT at 5600mm focal length with a double stacked Daystar Quark and a PGR GigE IMX249 camera.
The seeing was far from perfect when I took this image, but I just thought the filament structure was strangely fibrous in it's appearance, like it was twisted or knotted. Taken with the 203mm Airylab HaT at 5600mm focal length, double stacked quark and the PGR GigE IMX249 camera.
Whilst still too early to draw too many conclusions, a new active region rounded the suns eastern limb today, and as this image shows there appears to be a number of small spots and areas of bright plage. Whether the region is decaying or not will become apparent in the days ahead. Taken with the 80mm scope with a pair of stacked 2x barlows, the home made CaK filter and the PGR Chameleon 3 camera using 2x2 binning to shorten the exposure time and freeze the worsening seeing as the heat of the day built up.
Despite being designated an active region this area isn't really more than a patch of plage, and other than a few bright points has nothing that really corresponds with any sunspots. Seeing conditions were falling off rapidly when I took this image, but by taking a number of avi files I was able to select the best on. Lots of fine detail when clicked and viewed full size. This was taken with the 80mm scope, home brew CaK filter and a pair of stacked 2x barlows. The camera used was the PGR Chameleon 3.
I love the tenuous fibrils that are visible in this filament that had come around the suns eastern limb on saturday. The 0.2m Airylab HaT is really good at picking up on the fine structure. Taken at 5.6m focal length with a double stacked Quark and a PGR GigE IMX249 camera.
There was a lovely little dynamic surge prom sat on the limb from a active region that had rotated over a day or so before. This was taken with the 203mm Airylab HaT at about 5600mm focal length with the PGR GigE IMX249 camera.
It was probably the best seeing i've had all year so far, and so decided it was time to get the 0.2m Airylab HaT out for the season and get up close on our star. This active region didn't have any spots visible, more an area of plage, but there was still a lot of nice detail, especially when the image is viewed full size. A double stacked rear mounted etalon was used to increase the contrast along with the PGR GigE IMX249 camera and the Daystar Interference eliminator.
Friday, 7 April 2017
The sun was getting low, but using the 80mm scope at 1000mm focal length meant I could keep the exposure short enough to freeze the seeing to get a look at the pair of active regions that we currently have on the face of the sun. I used the home brew CaK filter and the PGR Chameleon 3 camera with its small 3.45um pixels.
Despite the transparency todays seeing wasn't too bad, and I was pleased to get a shot of the large active region as it headed over the limb. Apart from the quite area of plage mid disk not much else is going on! Taken with the 40mm scope at 400mm focal length with the PGR Chameleon 3 camera.
Thursday, 6 April 2017
I wasn't expecting sunshine today, but when I got home from work the sun was out and shining, and despite the haze and contrails in the western sky I got the DS PST out to see what was going on. I think the penta prism in it is shifting as I felt like I was having some focus issues laterally across the disk. The main activity from last week is now passing over the limbbut there is a relatively quiet active region mid disk with some small spot activity. Taken at the native 400mm focal length with the PGR Chameleon 3 camera.
Posted by Mark Townley at Thursday, April 06, 2017
Tuesday, 4 April 2017
I was really pleased to be able to leave work relatively early this afternoon and capitalise on the clear skies that had appeared as the day progressed. There was a lot of haze in the western sky, and the seeing was shot with a pretty gusty wind at times, but, never the less was nice to be able get a last look at the large groups of active region that have been geo-effective over the past week. On the limb, even in Calcium wavelengths, there was a surge prom visible from AR12644 that had been spitting with M class flares earlier in the week. This image was taken with the 80mm scope at ~2000mm focal length with the PGR Chameleon 3 camera using 2x2 binning to shorten the exposure and freeze the seeing; this technique worked very well in this instance, the image may not be perfect but was considerably better than the live view image when the capture was taking place.
Conditions were far from ideal with boiling seeing and poor transparency with all the haze, but using 2x2 binning with the 80mm scope at around 2000mm focal length meant I was able to keep the exposure time short enough to freeze the seeing. I was pushing it with this image, but nice to get a closeup of this active region, even if it is not particularly large compared to ones of the last week. The home brew CaK filter and PGR Chameleon 3 camera were used.
Todays disk in Calcium light shows well the active regions associated with this recent up tick in solar activity. It also shows well the surge prominence on the western limb. Taken with the 40mm scope at 400mm focal length, with the home brew CaK filter and PGR Chameleon 3 camera.
I knew that AR12644 which was sat directly on the western limb was going to have being putting on a good show as there have been several M class flares coming from it over the past couple of days. I put the 2x barlow on the double stacked PST and saw a great surge prominence jetting from the active region on the limb. Taken with the PGR Chameleon 3 camera.
The skies cleared slowly during the day, and for once was able to get away early from work. There was a lot of haze in the sky which robbed some contrast meaning more work had to be done in post processing, but it was nice to see the large active regions passing over and heading towards the western limb. A small active region with 3 small spots has appeared over the eastern limb. Taken with the DS PST and PGR Chameleon 3 camera.
Monday, 3 April 2017
I really struggled to get a half decent image of this active region on the limb as the seeing conditions were boiling away in between the passing cumulus clouds and their convective instability. Never the less, a combination of lucky imaging and 2x2 binning with the PGR Chameleon 3 to get shorter exposure times helped in freezing the poor seeing. Taken with the 80mm scope at ~3000mm focal length and the home brew CaK filter.
Posted by Mark Townley at Monday, April 03, 2017
Sunday, 2 April 2017
The seeing was most definitely not in the favour of the larger apertures, but using the 100mm Tal100R refractor stopped down to 80mm using a Beloptik tri-band full aperture ERF, barlowing up to 3000mm focal length and using 2x2 binning on the PGR Chameleon 3 camera with a combination of lucky imaging meant I was able to get a closeup that I was reasonably happy with. I quite pleased with the detail that has been pulled out in this shot.
Using the 2x barlow on the nosepiece of the PGR Chameleon 3 camera, the homebrew filter with the 40mm scope gave an effective focal length of ~800mm. It was nice to see so much going on down in the blue end of the spectrum for a change.
The sun looked great in CaK light today, lots of activity, including a pair of small spots that have come around the eastern limb. Taken with the 40mm scope at 400mm focal length, home made CaK filter and the PGR Chameleon 3 camera.
I tried a close up of the big active region using the 100mm Tal refractor stopped down to 80mm using a Lunt Solar wedge and the PGR Chameleon 3 camera. There were lots of fluffy clouds around at the time, and this was playing havoc with the seeing. I need to clean up some of the dust bunnies too.
This is the busiest the sun has been for some time, with 2 large active regions really putting on a plasma fireworks show. Magnetic field lines churned up the plasma into looping arcs, giving a real sense of three dimensions. I could just about get them in the same frame with the Skywatcher ED80 and Daystar Quark when using the PGR Blackfly GigE IMX249 chipped camera. Despite the relative low altitude when this image was took the seeing was just about behaving itself.
After so long with a relatively blank sun it was nice to see some active regions visible again, and, big ones at that. Lots of plasma being contorted by the intense magnetic field lines. Hoping the seeing plays ball so I can take a look at these with a larger scope. This was taken with the DS PST and 2x barlow, with the PGR Chameleon 3 camera.
Clouds on and off throughout the day, but some decent transparency in the gaps; also some decent activity. Several active regions on view, with the one approaching the western limb undergoing M-class flaring earlier in the day. Nice to have something to look at for a change. Taken with the double stacked PST and the PGR chameleon 3 camera.