Friday, 12 July 2019

CaK Full Disk 5th July

It was nice to do some CaK imaging on 5th of july as this seems to be a wavelength i've been neglecting of late.  With all the tell tale signs of cycle 25 activity being visible at times this wavelength is excellent at picking up on these features.  The seeing was reasonably good last friday morning, so I did a full disk with the 100mm Tal100R refractor at prime focus, f10 with the home brew CaK filter.  The camera used was the FLIR Grasshopper 3 ICX916M.  Lots of detail is visible in the full size image.

Ex Active Regions in CaK light - 5th July

Calcium light is great for showing these turbulent regions of plage associated with old active regions. This particular one is a cycle 24 active region that formed on the equator way back in early spring, here in mid summer the remnants are clear to see.  Taken with the 100mm Tal100R refractor, 3x barlow, home brew CaK filter and the FLIR Grasshopper 3 IMX174M camera.

Emerging Flux Region in CaK - 5th July

A small emerging flux region had just passed over the solar limb in this image taken on July 5th.  Scope used was the 100mm Tal100R refractor, 3x barlow lens, homebrew CaK filter and the GH3 IMX174M camera.

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Solar Polar Regions In Calcium Light - 5th July


These shots of the suns polar regions taken in calcium light shows the brighter polar faculae indicative of solar minimum conditions.  Taken with the 100mm Tal100R refractor, 3x barlow and GH3 IMX174M camera have brought out some finer details.

Ex Active Regions In Ha - 5th July

The disturbed area above the filament is all that remains from the active regions that first appeared at the start of April.  It is unlikely to be discernible in a few weeks time when it comes around the opposite limb, but is still worth checking for.  Taken with the Coronado SM90 with the 3x barlow and the PGR GH3 IMX174M camera.

Ha Full Disk 5th July

Much pleased with the tuning I got on this full disk with the SM90 today, even across the field of view.  Not much activity at this scale but a few features from cycle 24 on the celestial equator.  Taken with the GH3 ICX916M camera.

Saturday, 6 July 2019

Ha Full Disk 4th July

Much poorer conditions prevailed on thursday morning, with quite thick high cloud causing an increase in exposure time by a factor of 3, and also reducing contrast.  Still, this allowed for an overview full disk to complement the views so far in the mornings of this week.  Taken with the Coronado SM90 at prime focus and the FLIR GH3 ICX916M camera.

Flying To London Heathrow - 3rd July

Whilst taking my full disk shots I was pleased to see this transit of a British Airways flight heading from New York to London Heathrow.  The nifty app 'Flightradar24' is excellent at highlighting what air traffic is around at an time and also produces the graphic image of the plane in question along with other information.  This shot was taken with the Coronado SM90 double stacked with the Lunt50 etalon and used the FLIR GH3 ICX916M camera.

Northern Filament 3rd July

This small filament near the solar limb has significance as it sits aloft the magnetic boundary that marks the position of the sub surface solar jet stream that is associated with cycle 25 activity.  Taken with the Coronado SM90 double stacked with a Daystar Quark to increase contrast by reducing continuum leakage in the Ha wing lines, the FLIR GH3 ICX916M camera was used.

Ex Active Regions 3rd July

The region of turbulent plasma that was associated with active regions that appeared in April still remains visible as some bright plage and filaments.  Will it still be visible when it has a scheduled reappearance in about 3 weeks?  Maybe?  Taken with the Coronado SM90 double stacked with the Daystar Quark and the FLIR GH3 ICX916M camera.

S6205 3rd July

This little bright patch just below centre is a cycle 25 feature.  Over the past few days it has diminished in activity as it has got closer to the limb but still remains visible in the image taken with the Coronado SM90 double stacked with the Daystar Quark

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Polar Faculae 3rd July

The brighter spots near the south pole are polar faculae, these become more predominant during solar minimum.  Taken with the SM90 double stacked with the Daystar Quark and GH3 ICX916M camera.

Ha Full Disk 3rd July

I decided to double stack the SM90 with a LS50 etalon to get a bit more contrast on the solar disk.  This has shown up the plage that is mid disk very well, and also the cycle 25 region S6205.  The filament in the northern polar region is also a cycle 25 feature.  Taken with the GH3 ICX916M camera.

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Features in Double Stack - 2nd July


Double stacking a scope reduces continuum leakage and so enhances the contrast of features, which for looking for the ghosts of cycle 25 is a bonus. So the obvious thing to do was to use the Daystar Quark with the SM90, using 2x2 binning got the effective pixel size up to a whopping 7.3um which works better for the f38 i'm now running the system at (certainly compared to the 3.69um native pixel size of this GH camera).

First image the filament and relic plage that is mid disk, these are cycle 24:


Then to S6205, the little ephemeral bright point associated with cycle 25 in the southern hemisphere.

Ha Full Disk - 2nd July

Was pleased to wake up this morning to blue skies, so got out of bed nice and early to get some viewing in before work. Seeing wasn't great so lots of sub frames and lots of runs were key to picking out a best image. First up the full disk with the SM90 and GH3 ICX916M - again lots of people online saying the sun is blank, absolutely not! Mid disk a filament divides opposing magnetic polarities of the turbulent plage of the active regions that were with us in April. In northern polar regions we see the hints of a near limb to limb polar crown which marks the position of start of cycle 25 jetstream. Then, in the southern hemisphere S6205 is a cycle 25 feature.

Cycle 25 Ephemeral Region 29th June

The very small ephemeral region just left of centre marks another cycle 25 feature.  Taken with the SM90, GH3 IMX174 and a 3x barlow to get a better image scale for the pixels on the chip.

Polar Filaments - 29th June

Another sure sign of the starting of a new solar cycle is the appearance of polar filaments.  These clouds of plasma mark the magnetic boundaries of solar jet streams/  Taken with the SM90, 3x barlow and GH3 IMX174 camera. 

Ephemeral Region 29th June

Only small, this little ephemeral region is sat on the solar equator and is cycle 24.  Taken with the SM90, 3xbarlow, FLIR GH3 ICX916M camera.

Ex Active Regions - 29th June

Taken with the GH3 IMX174 camera and the Coronado SM90 with the 3x barlow, this closeup in single stack mode shows turbulent zone of plasma associated with the active regions that were visible back in April.

Ha Full Disk 29th June

A full disk from Saturday morning, as usual of late at a first glance seems to be not much happening.  A small dark filament in northern polar regions marks cycle 25 bands that are starting to surface, and on the solar equator a ephemeral bright point is the tail end of cycle 24.  Taken with the SM90 scope at prime focus and the FLIR GH3 ICX916M camera.

Sunday, 30 June 2019

Prom Closeup and more Cycle 25 Activity - 27th June

The sun at first glance seems surprisingly quiet at the moment; this image is dominated by the nice arching prominence, however look to the centre of the image and there is a small brighter spot, this is a bright point in the latitudes we would expect cycle 25 activity.  Further to the right of this a small filament is also coexistent at the same latitudes.  Activity is there, it is only small scale and small field strengths but is there if you know where to look.  Taken with the Coronado SM90 double stacked with the Daystar Quark and the new Grasshopper 3 IMX174 camera.

Ex Active Regions Closeup 27th June

Trying out my new FLIR Grasshopper 23S6M camera with IMX174 chip this morning; I double stacked the Quark onto the Coronado SM90.  I was pleased with the level of detail I was getting and the fast frame rate certainly helps with the seeing at these longer focal lengths.  This region of turbulent plasma on the Sun marks the position where there have been active regions and sunspots for the past couple of solar rotations.

Ha Full Disk 27th June

A quick full disk before work on Thursday taken with the SM90 at prime focus with the FLIR Grasshopper 3 ICX916M camera.  The region rotating into view on the limb is where we have had active regions for a few rotations.

Sunday, 23 June 2019

Surge Proms at the South Pole 22nd June

The suns southern pole was where it was all happening on Saturday, a small surge took place just off the edge of the limb as can be seen in this animation spanning just over 10 minutes.  A small filament forming part of a solar crown can also be seen along with the faint bright points associated with polar faculae.  This was taken with the Coronado SM90 double stacked with the Daystar Quark.  The FLIR Grasshopper 3 ICX916M camera was used to make this animation.

Ha Full Disk - 22nd June

The sun was very quiet in Ha viewed on the full disk scale, taken with the SM90 and FLIR Grasshopper 3 ICX916M camera.

Cycle 25 Plage - 22nd June

Using the 100mm Tal refractor at 3000mm focal length to get in closer on the suns southern polar region, the small area of plage is associated with cycle 25.  The spicule ring is also faintly visible on the limb.

Plage From Cycle 24 - 22nd June

Using the 100mm Tal and the 3x barlow to close in on some of the plage on the solar equator associated with cycle 24.  The inverse granulation pattern in CaK is just starting to show through in this image.  

CaK Full Disk 22nd June

The sun is very quiet at the moment, with little visible even in CaK wavelengths.  There is a small patch of plage in southern polar regions associated with cycle 25.  Cycle 24 has still not fully departed and there are still a few patches of plage on the equator.  This full disk was taken with the 100mm Tal refractor at f10 with the homebrew CaK filter and the FLIR Grasshopper 3 ICX916M camera.  Looking at the image full size it is possible to see the inverse granulation that is typified at Calcium wavelengths.

Ha Full Disk 21st June

The sun was shining this friday morning so decided to get a quick shot. Wow, it's quiet at the moment.  Taken with the SM90 and FLIR ICX916M Grasshopper 3 camera.

Sunday, 16 June 2019

Ha Full Disk 16th June

Following a weeks solid rain a very brief window of blue skies presented itself this Sunday morning before the next rain rushed in from the west.  I had the mount setup and waiting outside under a tarpaulin for such an opportunity so was able to get out and observe with the SM90.  The sun is quiet, but a few bright points are starting to become visible now, possibly a tell tale sign of an increase in activity as we get closer to cycle 25.  The seeing was quite good for a change, and the spicule ring resolves itself nicely, as is a nice flame prom visible at 10 o'clock when the image is viewed full size.  Camera used was the FLIR GH3 ICX916M.

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Ha Full Disk 9th June

Despite being sunny very first thing I anticipated clouds not building till 10am, which is what usually happens.  Today was different and by 7am clouds were bubbling away, as such the imaging session I has planned was cut very short and I only managed a full disk with the SM90 with the 2x cemax barlow and the FLIR GH3 ICX916M camera.  The remnants of the active region from previous rotations only has a couple of days before it rotates out of view and, on it's return in a few weeks time is likely to have little to show.

Friday, 7 June 2019

Ha Closeup - 6th June

Wanting a closeup of the region of activity, I double stacked the setup I used for the full disk with the Daystar Quark but with 2x2 binning on the camera to get a better sampling rate.  Maybe not quite on band but the clouds were coming in fast.

Ha Full Disk - 6th June

First clear skies for me for a while happening at the same time i've been able to image.  There may be no spots but the region of activity from previous rotations manifests itself as an area of disturbed plasma with filaments marking the magnetic boundaries.  Taken with the Lunt 50 etalon, 2x cemax barlow and FLIR GH3 ICX916M camera.

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Sun Fired Skies

I couldn't resist this sunset shot taken from the river Severn in Worcester the other day.  All of a sudden and for only about 15 minutes the sun lit up the sky in a fiery orange glow that reflected in the river.  Then the clouds suddenly turned back to their usual dulcet grey tones.  

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Ha Full Disk 24th May

A quick full disk before work on friday morning, with the Lunt 50 etalon on the ED60 F6 scope and the 2x cemax barlow along with the FLIR GH3 ICX916M camera.  The sun is essentially blank with no real proms, a small bright spot had rotated around the limb and will be interesting to see if this develops into anything in the days ahead.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

CaK Full Disk 21st May

Taken with the 40mm f10 scope, along with a 2x cemax barlow, homebrew CaK filter and the FLIR GH3 ICX916M camera.  The sun is pretty much blank all bar a couple of bright points in mid northern latitudes; these may  be a sign of the sub surface jetstream associated with cycle 25.  Maybe?

Blank Sun - 21st May

After the past weeks with all the activity that we have been having the sun is now completely blank - nothing to see at all, even the proms are small and faint.  Taken the Lunt50 etalon, 60mm f6 scope, 2x cemax barlow and the FLIR GH3 ICX916M camera.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Ha Full Disk - 16th May

Today was the last day with the spell of good weather that we've been having this last week, and throughout the sun has has something on show.  Active region AR12741 is slowly but surely decaying and is unlikely to survive another rotation to return as a sunspot, possibly plage?  We'll have to see in 2 weeks time.  Taken with a Lunt 50 etalon on the ED60 f60 scope with a 2.5x barlow and the FLIR GH3 ICX916M camera.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

CaK Full Disk - 15th May

There is still a lot of activity visible at CaK wavelengths as the pair of active regions march towards the limb.  Taken with the 40mm f10 OTA with a 2x Cemax barlow and the FLIR GH3 ICX814 camera.

Ha Full Disk - 15th May

Clear skies for another morning meant I was able to image again before work, seeing was good and the scope of choice was the ED60 with the 50mm Lunt etalon.  A 2x cemax barlow increased the image scale for the FLIR GH3 ICX814 camera.  There is still quite a bit of activity for the next couple of days.  I wonder if this active region will return again in 2 weeks?  I think in CaK there will still be plage visible even if all signs of the spots have gone.

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Ha Full Disk 14th May

Despite some bands of haze / cloud on the eastern horizon I managed to get a full disk before I went to work.  Taken with the ED60 and a Lunt50mm etalon.  

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Ha Full Disk 12th May

My favourite views from today were with the double stacked Ha setups, where active regions revel in contrast and detail.  This full disk was taken with the Lunt 50 etalon double stacking on the Coronado SM90ii.  There are lots of small proms visible and is well worth double clicking to view full size.  Taken with the FLIT GH3 ICX814 camera.

Ha Closeup 12th May

Taken with the Solarmax SM90ii scope double stacked with the Daystar Quark, the seeing was making things very difficult and I never got an image with this setup I was 100% happy with.  There was lots of activity in this active region and is still reasonably active, I think would have made for a nice time lapse.

CaK Closeup 12th May

Using the same setup as with the full disk image, but instead using a 3x barlow in the nose of the FKIR GH3 ICX814 camera gives a nice image scale.  The 2 active regions looked impressive as they neared the limb.

CaK Full Disk 12th May

Finally finished tweaking with the homebrew CaK filter to throw reflections far from the suns disk.  The image was taken with the SW ED80 stopped down to 60mm.  I was struggling with the seeing today, and this reflects in the spicule ring which is undefined, I know when seeing is good the spicule ring is well defined at this aperture.  

AR12741 with the Daystar Sodium Quark - 12th May

Swapping out the Lunt wedge for the Daystar sodium Quark I decided to get a closeup of this pair of active regions.  AR12741 was sporting a nice light bridge.  The Quark is better than the wedge in the poorer seeing conditions, but 80mm aperture really was the limit of what this afternoon was allowing me to use.

White Light Full Disk - 12th May

With a couple of sunspots visible I decided to get out the Lunt Solar wedge with the Skywatcher ED80 and FLIR GH3 ICX814 camera.  Been quite a while since i've done a whitelight shot!

Monday, 6 May 2019

Coronal Holes and Bright Points 4th May

Whilst this may appear to be a seemingly innocuous region of the sun with little or nothing happening it actually tells a story of features not seen in visible light.  The two bright points mark the boundary of a coronal hole.  A coronal hole has open magnetic field lines, and at it's boundary the sun has closed magnetic field lines, this produces a magnetic potential which gives the possibility of activity forming on the boundary line.  While not ephemeral regions, these bright points represent an area where magnetic field lines are emanating from the surface of the sun.  Taken with the Coronado SM90 double stacked with the Daystar Quark along with the FLIR GH3 ICX814 camera.