Sunday, 5 February 2017
The conditions were far from great, but in the depths of winter it is nice just to get an image of the sun as it skirts the roof lines and tree tops of the urban environment. Now into the start of february the sun climbs ever higher in our sky, and while it still dances with the urban obstructions it is visible for longer and longer each passing week. There was a small surge on the limb, and with a wispy filament it made for a frame with the Skywatcher ED80, Double stacked Daystar Quark and a PGR Chameleon 3 camera using 2x2 binning to try and tame the unsteady atmosphere.
This little decaying active region had very little other than a few plasma rifts going on, and, with a sun heading towards solar minimum is why a scope like the 0.2m Airylab HaT is the way forward. This 'wide field' shot was taken with a skywatcher ED80 and a double stacked Quark.
Not really a lot going on on in this image taken in Calcium light of the north eastern limb of our star taken with the 80mm scope at 2000mm focal length with the PGR CH3 and 2x2 binning. What is does show is the 'hairy' limb of the sun, or the chromosphere in profile, sometimes called the spicule layer in Ha images. With a quieter sun now upon us this is something I want to focus on for animations with a high temporal cadence in the months ahead in this years solar season.
Saturday, 4 February 2017
While todays seeing wasn't great there were moments when it showed some promise, to the point I decided to get out the 100mm Tal100R refractor. Stopping this down to 80mm with a Beloptik tri-band ERF and running at 2000mm focal length I was able to get some close up views of this departing active region revealing some quite small scale detail. Taken with the homebrew CaK filter and the PGR Chameleon 3 camera using 2x2 binning.
Apart from the decaying active regions that were heading towards the suns limb there isn't a lot happening on our sun in Calcium light at the moment. This image was taken with the 40mm scope at 400mm focal length with the PGR Chameleon 3 camera.
This subtle little prom on the suns eastern limb had lots of faint detail tucked away that I didn't realise until I processed the image. Taken with the Skywatcher ED80, Double stacked Daystar Quark and the PGR Chameleon 3 with 2x2 binning to try and tame the the poor seeing.
This small prominence was hanging on the boundary of filaprom / prominence on the western limb, but I like the way the subtle detail came out. Taken with the ED80, double stacked quark and the PGR Chameleon 3 with 2x2 binning.
Seems the turn of february is a tipping point for me with the sun just about above most of the tree tops for most of the morning, following 3 months of grabbing quick views of suns between the branches. With blue skies prevailing I decided to give the Daystar Quark its first run of the year on the back of the Skywatcher ED80. Seeing was awful so decided to use 2x2 binning on the PGR (FLIR) Chameleon 3 camera to give effective 6.9um pixel size, which, together with increased sensitivity and shorter exposure time just about did the job. Bear in mind the sun was still below 20 degrees altitude in the sky. The sun is pretty quiet at the moment with this relict active region heading towards the limb really the main feature of note. I needed to use flats with this image as there were dust bunnies galore - I need to clean all my glassware before settling into the 2017 solar season proper.
Finally after over a month of no real clear skies, or, no clear skies when I can actually observe it was nice to have a saturday morning where the sun was out. Certainly not totally clear skies, there was a lot of high cloud but it was thin enough to image. It's also pleasing to see how much higher the sun is getting in the sky now, the 2017 solar season is starting! This image was taken with the double stacked PST at 400mm focal length with the PGR Chameleon 3 camera. Disk detail is low at the moment but there were a couple of small delicate prominences on display. Just a bit to early in the season to be zooming in with bigger scopes effectively.