Saturday, 8 July 2017

6 Minutes in the Life of AR12665 - 8th July

The seeing was just about holding up for the 100mm of aperture of the Tal100R refractor this morning so I decided to go for an animation to see what this active region was up to.  This is just over 6 minute real time - before the clouds came back! with a cadence of 4 images a minute revealing just how quickly things change on our star.  Using a double stacked Daystar Quark and a 0.7x Baader solar telecompressor brought the focal length to a manageable 3 metres.  Using a PGR Chameleon 3 camera with 2x2 binning meant short exposure (3ms) times were possible to tame the seeing.

AR12665 With HaT in Poor Seeing - 8th July

I started off imaging with the 203mm Airylab HaT this morning, but the seeing was awful, and after shooting about 20 file runs this really was the best of them (and it's not very good!), so rather than pursuing this fruitless avenue I decided to back off to the 100mm scope instead.

Glorious Proms - 8th July

A lovely great big prominence visible this morning on the suns eastern limb.  Normally I don't both imaging proms but this one was too much to miss out on.  Taken with the Tal100R refractor at ~3000mm focal length with the Double stacked Daystar Quark and PGR Chameleon 3 camera using 2x2 binning.

Cak Full Disk 8th July

The sun is quiet at the moment bar the large single active region with multiple spots.  The seeing had really gone bad when this shot was taken, so much that I was only able to shoot at 400mm focal length with the 40mm scope using the home brew CaK filter and the PGR Chameleon 3 camera.

Growing Sunspots - AR12665

This active region has been growing quite quickly since rounding the limb a few days ago, as seen in this animation over 36 hours of SDO data.  So far it has not shown any signs of flaring, but hopefully this will change in the days ahead!

Thursday, 6 July 2017

New Active Region Rounding The Limb - 5th July

Despite having to shoot through haze and ramp the exposure up, it was very easy to see just how dynamic this crown of plasma was as it spitted and changed form in real time on the laptop screen.  Since seeing it yesterday morning it is apparent there is a large single spot associated with it.  I needed to take a lot of images to find a best one, as the seeing and transparency weren't great, but, this came out ok.  Taken with the 203mm  Airylab HaT at ~6m focal length with the Double stacked Daystar Quark and the PGR Chameleon 3 camera using 2x2 binning.

The Scars of Spots Long Gone - 5th July

This may seem a fairly insignificant bit of the sun, but with its plage and filamentary structures marking magnetic fields, this area is the relic cores of some of the active regions that we have seen in the past couple of months.  The seeing wasn't great but shooting enough data and lucky imaging meant I was able to recover something usable.  Taken with the 0.2m Airylab HaT, the double stacked daystar Quark at ~6m focal length with a PGR Chameleon 3 camera with 2x2 binning.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

CaK Full Disk - 24th June

An unexpected break in the clouds first thing allowed me to grab a quick CaK full disk this morning on a day when the forecast was for wall to wall clouds.  The seeing was really bad though, and even with the 40mm scope it was difficult to see sharp focus, I did briefly try with the 80mm to get a closer view of the spot, but I was wasting my time.  This was shot at 500mm focal length with the home brew CaK filter and the PGR Chameleon 3 camera.

Monday, 19 June 2017

AR12662 with the Airylab HaT - 18th June

This is my favourite image from the weekend and also one of the sharpest, taken with the 203mm Airylab HaT at a focal length of 7 metres, it is really starting to pull in some of the finer details caused by the magnetic field lines and their influence on the electrically charged plasma.  Taken with the double stacked Daystar Quark and Baader 0.7x solar telecompressor and the PGR Chameleon 3 camera using 2x2 binning to get 6.9um pixels and a short 3ms exposure time, which coupled with the 120fps capture rate works well in it's efforts to freeze the seeing.  

AR12663 with the Airylab HaT - 18th June

This angry little active region has been crackling with a number of smaller spots between the main bipolar group with many lines of swirling plasma molded by magnetic field lines.  Taken with the 0.2m Airylab HaT at 7m focal length using the double stacked Daystar Quark and PGR Chameleon 3 camera.

Plage with the Hat - 18th June

This region is typical of the sort of small scale features on a quiet sun that can be seen with the 8" Airylab HaT; with a regular size scope there would be little to see, but at nearly 7m focal length there is quite a bit.  The seeing was starting to go here, but this just about works.

Dark Filament - 18th June

This filament looked particularly dark on sundays sun, and I was pleasantly surprised when I looked at the final image the subtle detail that had been recorded.  The seeing must have been behaving at that point!  Taken with the 100mm Tal100R, Double stacked Quark running at f43, and a Baader 0.7x solar telecompressor to bring the focal length back to a more usable 3 metres.  The camera was the PGR Chameleon 3 using 2x2 binning to get a shorter exposure and larger pixels more suited to the focal length.

Active Regions with the Tal100R - 18th June



The 100mm Tal100R was putting on a good show with sundays solar activity as the heat of the day became too much for the seeing for the Airylab HaT, and with the wider field of view and lower resolution the resultant images were still nice and sharp.  There was lots to see, and with an f43 beam entering the double stacked daystar quark the contrast was high.  A nice set of images that I am pleased with!

Sunday, 18 June 2017

CaK Full Disk 18th June

With temperatures up at 28c when I took this picture, the 40mm scope was all I was going to be able to use in the midday heat with the seeing conditions boiling away.  Fortunately this scope is impervious to all but the worst the atmosphere can throw at it, and, as a result I got a nice disk - 3 days in a row - surely a UK record 😆  Either way, at 500mm focal length and with the home brew CaK filter together with the PGR Chameleon 3 camera I got a nice full disk I thought!

AR12663 in Ha - 17th June

This is only quite a small region on the sun, 'merely' a dozen or so Earths across, but with the 0.2m Airylab HaT at nearly 9 metres focal length it is possible to get up close and personal with this tempest of plasma.  The image was taken shortly after 6am before the heat of the day destroyed the seeing conditions.  The sun looks angry and menacing at this scale.  The double stacked Daystar Quark was used along with the PGR Chameleon 3 with 2x2 binning to give nice large 6.9um pixels, 3 ms exposure time and a 120fps frame rate in an attempt to get the best out of the seeing conditions.

AR12662 in Ha with the Airylab HaT - 17th June


These 2 shots were both taken with the Airylab Hat, double stacked Quark, and PGR Chameleon 3 with 2x2 binning, the only difference being the wider field view used the Baader 0.7x solar telecompressor to give an effective focal length of just over 6 metres compared to the native focal length of nearly 9 metres using the quarks 4.3x telecentric instead of the Airlylab 2.7x telecentric.  The seeing wasn't perfect at this scale but it was good enough to get a couple of acceptable images.

Solar Activity in Ha with the Tal100R Refractor - 17th June


I have found a bit of an unusual setup that I quite like in this years solar season; my trusty 100mm Tal100R refractor works particularly well when my double stacked Daystar Quark is used in conjunction with the 0.7x Baader solar telecompressor and the PGR Chameleon 3 camera with 2x2 binning.  This unlikely combination delivers a f43 beam into the etalons for a contrast rich view, the solar telecompressor then brings this back to a more manageable 3 metres focal length, which on days when the seeing is too bad for the 0.2m Airylab HaT gives some nice views.  Our star was looking very fiery with this setup on saturday.

Ha Full Disk - 17th June

In the absence of an 'in one' full disk setup that i'm currently happy with it means it has been a while since I got an overview of our star at 656nm.  Saturday offered plentiful clear skies with minimal haze (this can be seen as a 'glow' around the suns limb in places) and so I took the opportunity to use the 56mm scope, double stacked quark, baader solar telecompressor (0.7x) and the PGR Chameleon 3 with 2x2 binning to get this mosaic.  It's reasonably large so is worth a double click on the image to see it in full size.

AR12663 in CaK - 17th June

This is by far the most active region on the sun at the moment, with it's trailing wake of plage.  There were just about some nice details visible in this shot taken with the 100mm Tal100R stopped down to 80mm using a Beloptik Tri-Band ERF, home brew CaK filter and the PGR Chameleon 3 camera.

AR12662 in CaK - 17th June

A couple of shots of this solitary spot and its associated active region taken with the 100mm Tal100R telescope stopped down to 80mm with the Beloptik tri-band, and, using the home brew CaK filter and the PGR Chameleon 3 camera.  On one of the hottest days of the year so far seeing was deteriorating quickly and so was not able to try larger apertures in these short wavelengths.

CaK Full Disk - 17th June

Considering we are heading towards solar minimum there is still a pleasant amount of activity visible on our star!  Taken with the 40mm scope at 500mm focal length with the homebrew CaK filter and the PGR Chameleon 3 camera.

Friday, 16 June 2017

CaK Full Disk - 16th June

Finally some sun!  Work has been manic lately, and the morning skies whilst clear at 5am seem to have clouded up by 7am not leaving a big window for imaging.  Today there was high cloud and the transparency wasn't great but the seeing with small apertures was OK.  This was taken with the 40mm scope at 500mm focal length with the home brew CaK filter and the PGR Chameleon 3 camera.  Nice to see a bit of activity on the suns disk too!  Hoping to get a bit more chance for imaging over the weekend, forecast is allegedly good!  

Sunday, 4 June 2017

AR12661 in Ha - 4th June

This active region that has rotated into view only recently spewed off a near M class flare in the hours preceding this image being taken and looked to be very lively at the time, with lots of swirling plasma, and, in this image taken with the double stack system the sunspot itself virtually hidden as a photospheric feature.  The seeing was variable in the rapidly bubbling up cloud in an unstable atmosphere, and I took several shots with this one coming out the best.  The 203mm Airylab HaT was used, along with a Double Stacked Daystar Quark, a Baader solar Telecompressor to bring the focal length down to about 4250mm.  The PGR Chameleon 3 was used with 2x2 binning to give effective 6.9um pixels, short 3ms exposure and 120fps with the latest version of firecapture.  

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

CaK Full Disk 31st May

The last day of May and a subtly different CaK full disk.  This was taken with the little 40mm scope at 400mm focal length on an undriven camera tripod.  Not something I want to try again in a hurry as it was a real pain to get a decent stacked image out of autostakkert with it bouncing around all the time.  Still, I got a shot in the end!  The homebrew CaK filter was used as was the PGR Chameleon 3 camera.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

AR12659 in Ha - 25th May

Firecapture was playing up on my laptop on thursday morning, and I tried a newer version of the software.  To my surprise I was able to capture at 120 fps, with the laptop behaving itself!  This seemed to have a positive effect and I got some nice images from the session.  I really like how this image of the active region came out.  Taken with the 203mm Airylab HaT at 4250mm focal length, a double stacked Daystar Quark and the PGR Chameleon 3 camera using 2x2 binning to give 6.9um pixels and nice short exposure times in an attempt to freeze the seeing.

CaK Full Disk 25th May

 The active regions of the past days are slowly starting to rotate out of view as can be seen in this full disk taken with the 40mm scope at 500mm focal length with the PGR Chameleon 3.  The closeup was taken with the PGR Blackfly IMX249 camera using a 2x barlow lens.  Excuse the dust bunny!

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Swirling Plasma - 25th May


The seeing was behaving itself a bit on thursday morning with the HaT and I was pleased to get some nice images with the 203mm scope.  These regions of pampas grass plage and plasma are all that remains of the groups of active regions from a few rotations ago now, and at this scale there is still plenty going on with them.  The Baader Solar Telecompressor was used to give a 0.75x reduction factor giving an effective focal length of roughly 4250mm.  The camera was the PGR Chameleon 3 using 2x2 binning to give 6.9um effective pixels and also a much shorter exposure time in an attempt to freeze the seeing, which it seems to have done.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

CaK Full Disk - 24th May

Despite heading on a journey towards solar minima the suns current geoffective face is quite busy, with bands of activity either side of the solar equator.  These are slowly rotating away, and not much seems to be rotating to replace it - we will see over the coming days I guess!  Taken with the 40mm scope at ~500mm focal length with the homebrew CaK filter and the PGR Chameleon 3 camera.

AR12659 in Ha - 24th May

Despite being small, this active region had an interesting amount going on, the single spot was visible faintly on the photosphere, while its bipolar counterpart was seen as a small flaring region.  Dark, cooler plasma tendrils can be seen extending from the active region corresponding to the magnetic field lines.  Taken with the 0.2m Airylab HaT, double stacked Daystar Quark, Baader 0.7x solar telecompressor to bring the focal length back to about 4250mm focal length, with the PGR Chameleon 3 camera using 2x2 binning to increase the effective pixel size, their sensitivity and then reduce the exposure time with the result of freezing the seeing conditions.

AR12658 in Ha - 24th May

This image of this small active region reveals the photospheric ghost of the sunspot that was once prominent.  The seeing wasn't great and passing haze bands meant that an animation wasn't possible, which was a shame as at this scale there was plenty going on.  Taken with the 203mm Airylab HaT at ~4250mm focal length, using the 0.7x Baader solar telecompressor and the PGR Chameleon 3 camera using 2x2 binning to freeze the seeing by means of a shorter exposure time.