Tuesday 30 July 2019

Ha Full Disk - 30th July

There be a storm coming in today! However was up early and out ready to beat the rapidly approaching bands of clouds. Only managed a full disk, Lunt50 etalon double stacked with the Quark, 0.7x telecompressor and the FLIR GH3 ICX916M camera.

There's lots happening on our star today! there are whole load of lovely proms, and with turbulent plage and filaments mid disk from the active regions we had back in April, also look carefully in the northern hemisphere mid latitudes, a feint but most definite line of filaments is there - this marks out the solar jet stream associated with where we will first see cycle 25 giving us activity. At the moment the field strength there is less than 1500 gauss (the limit accepted for spot formation) and so we see filaments being the dominant magnetic feature, but as the field strength gets more in the months ahead we should expect an increase in the magnitude of features associated.

CaK Closeup - 29th July

This image is a closeup of the region of plage that is visible in the full disk image in the post below.  Taken with the 100mm Tal100R refractor, homebrew CaK filter, Coronado 2x cemax barlow lens and FLIR GH3 IMX174 camera.  The Airylab Solar Seeing Monitor was used to get Firecapture to select only the sharpest subframes to be recorded.  I'm quite pleased with the result as is rare the seeing obliges like this for me.  It will be interesting to see how much of this plage is still visible in less than a months time when this region of our star makes a reappearance again.

CaK Full Disk 29th July

While there might appear to be not much happening in this full disk taken at Calcium wavelengths, it shows well the region of plage mid disk associated with final cycle 24 activity as a result of the active regions we had in this area in spring time earlier in the year.  The image was taken at 80mm f12.5 with the homebrew CaK filter and the FLIR GH3 ICX916M camera.

Sodium Full Disk 29th July

It occurred to me only recently, that as I was able to get a full disk using my Ha Quark, then the same would apply to my Na Quark.  This is a bit of a 'nothing shot' in so much as no features are visible, but it does serve a purpose that this wavelength of full disk is indeed possible, and certainly when cycle 25 kicks in should be alot more interesting.  Taken with the ED60/f6, Na Quark, Baader 0.7x solar telecompressor and the FLIR GH3 ICX916M camera.  This could also prove an interesting option for a Magnesium Quark in the future possibly?  Hmmm...

Filaments Mid Disk - 29th July

I took these shots of the filaments that are currently sat mid disk on the sun, these mark the position of the boundaries of coronal holes, that, also in turn mark the position of the boundaries of the magnetic fields associated with a region of the sun that spawned active region way back in the spring time.  This has survived several solar rotations now, with each rotation manifesting itself in slightly different form as it becomes weaker.  There is every chance that this region is the last major event of cycle 24 and so represents the 'terminator' event for this cycle.  While the magnetic field strength has dropped below the 1500 gauss needed to produce sunspots, there is sufficient magnetic fields to still produce filalments and also coronal holes.  It may well be that when the features we see above have finally totally (magnetically) diminished that this is when cycle 25 starts to kick in proper.  This may well have a few more rotations of activity left in it before it is gone, but will be interesting to track and hopefully observation backs up the theory.  The top image was taken with the 8" HaT and Daystar Quark with the 0.7x Baader Solar Telecompressor and the FLIR GH3 IMX174 camera, bottom image shows wider scale with the SM90 double stacked with the Daystar Quark and the FLIR GH3 ICX916M camera.  

Monday 29 July 2019

Ha Full Disks 29th July

A couple of full disks from today; first up with the Coronado SM90 at prime focus, then followed by the double stack disk with the Lunt LS50 etalon and Daystar Quark.  Camera used in both instances was the FLIR GH3 ICX916M.  There isn't a huge amount of difference in details that would normally be expected in a single stack double stack comparison.  Maybe I didn't have the etalons tuned quite right?

Friday 26 July 2019

Remnants of Active Regions in Ha - 25th July

This filament and turbulent plage is all that now remains of the equatorial active regions that marked the last major activity of cycle 24.  Taken with the Coronado SM90, 2x cemax barlow and the FLIR GH3 IMX174 camera.

Thursday 25 July 2019

Departing Active Regions in Ha - 25th July

This is the only 'hi res' shot I salvaged today, with the SM90 and 2x cemax barlow, with temperatures up in the high 30's imaging wasn't really on the cards!  A few days ago this turbulent plage on the limb was a small cycle 24 active region.  The IMX174 camera was unhappy as was recording a working temperature of 62c - ouch!

Ha Full Disk 25th July

A hot day today, probably the hottest of the year. Seeing was shot before 7am and I seemed to waste too much time trying to get hi res stuff to no avail. The cameras weren't liking it and were up over 60c. In the end was too hot to be sitting directly in the sun so settled for a full disk. Lunt 50 etalon double stacked with the Quark on the ED60 f6 scope, Baader 0.7x solar telecompressor was used with the GH3 ICX916M to get a full disk on the chip.

The sun is far from quiet, despite what Spaceweather.com keeps saying - the filament coming around the limb on the equator marks where we had active regions around Easter time, a small flux region mid disk is also the decaying relics of cycle 24. The active region from earlier in the week has all but decayed before it passes over the limb in the next day or so. No proms today but a few bright points here and there that may be indicative of cycle 25, the northern filament is likely to be indicative of the cycle 25 band.

Tuesday 23 July 2019

AR12745 with the HaT 23rd July

Conditions were good before 7am this morning, and before the seeing completely deteriorated  I got this image of the active region with the Airylab Hat, Daystar Quark and FLIR GH3 IMX174 camera.  The active region has considerably died back in activity compared to yesterday, and by wednesday I expect little to be left apart from a patch of plage.

Ha Full Disk 23rd July

Todays full disk is rather quieter than the previous; the active region has diminished in activity, and also the filament to the north has also faded away.  There are nice proms visble though!  Taken with the LC50 on the ED60/f6, double stacked with the Daystar Quark and also using the Baader solar telecompressor to reduce the image scale back a bit, camera was the FLIR GH3 ICX916M.  Looks like the plage relics of the active regions from previous rotations may be making a come back on the western limb, certainly something to keep an eye on in the days ahead...

Monday 22 July 2019

S6220 in Ha - 22nd July

This undesignated little region appeared to have quite a lot going on with it, with clear magnetic field lines and pores visible in white light.  Taken with the Coronado SM90 double stacked with the Daystar Quark and the FLIR GH3 ICX916M camera using 2x2 binning to get a better scale for sampling.

Northern Filament 22nd July

Double stacking the SM90 with the Daystar Quark gave a high power high contrast view of the filament that was floating around in northern polar regions today.

Double Stacked Disk 22nd July

Despite only being taken with 50mm aperture compared to the previous full disk which was taken at 90mm aperture, the higher contrast of the double stack setup makes details easier to see.  The filament and active region really stand out in comparison to the single stack image, with proms also being nice and easy too.  Taken with a Lunt50 etalon double stacked with a Daystar Quark on the 60mm f6 refractor,  a 0.7x Baader solar telecompressor was used to reduce the image scale so that the full disk would fit on the chip of the FLIR GH3 ICX916M camera.

Full Disk with the SM90 - 22nd July

Lots of nice spicules and detail around the small active region in this full disk taken with the Coronado SM90 and FLIR GH3 ICX916M camera.

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.