Friday 4 January 2019

Tangerine in the Trees - 4th January

More of an opportunity to try out some new kit rather than go for a decent image of the sun here, but also the first chance to image for many weeks!  The day after solar perihelion there was a brief gap in the ever so persistent cloud we seem to have been graced with for months and I had a brief window before the sun started to drift back into the tree line and low sky haze.  I have just had a Skywatcher AZ Gti Alt Az mount, a dinky little thing that can be picked up with one hand that is controlled via wifi.  With a payload of 5kg I figured it would be an ideal grab and go mount for when there's not much time available.  Today I tried it with my Technosky 60mm f6 with a Lunt 50 etalon.  I was also trying out my new full disk camera - a PGR Grasshopper 3 9.1Mp with the Sony ICX814 chip; this camera offers a chip size of 3376x2704 pixels, as a result I also used a Coronado 2x cemax barlow to fill up the chip with the solar image.  The camera allows a full disk up to about 1000mm focal length so will have some interesting possibilities.  I was pleased that absolutely no tilt was needed with the camera.  Clouds had already started to drift back so there was little time to concentrate on tuning the etalon, but it did reveal AR2732, an equatorial spot from the tail end of cycle 24, a few small proms were also visible.  Just nice to see our star for a change!