Sunday, 16 October 2016
Just the one image from today as seemed to be under a cloud streamer, and then the sun passed into the trees. Still work to be done with this PST, there is soooo much slack in the threads in the etalon tuning ring that it is difficult to fine tune; next steps are some PTFE tape on the threads. Secondly the eyepeice holder will be reduced in length so that i'm not at the extremes of focus with the camera. Either way, all good fun playing. Taken with a Lunt50 to double stack it and a PGR Chameleon 3 camera. Tilting to get rid of newtons rings causes the right hand edge to be a little soft, but I have on order a wedge prism to go in the camera nosepiece as a possible solution - stay tuned for updates on this over the weeks!
Posted by Mark Townley at Sunday, October 16, 2016
Saturday, 15 October 2016
The trifecta of solar images is at the heart of the Brierley Hill Solar logo, and it seems like ages since i've done one, so, today seeing as I imaged in 3 wavelengths I decided to put one together! All taken with 40mm aperture, 500mm focal length and a PGR Chameleon 3 camera.
The double stack disks are back! I decontacted an etalon in my trusty DS40 scope earlier this year, and despite recontacting the damaged etalon, i've never been enamoured with the results it gives. As such there has been a period of drought while I sought another solution. Here it is, a double stacked PST; with a difference. Firstly it is double stacked with a Lunt 50 etalon, just to be different, and the bf5 has been replaced with a bf10 as this has better contrast and light throughput, it also allows me to move the disk such that the sweetspot is central on the disk. Still work to do here, I think the etalon tuning assembly can be tightened up to lose a bit of slack, and also the black box at the back can also be replaced with a 'less glass' solution. There is ofcourse the possibility of triple stacking, but that's down the road, the first step is to fine tune the double stack.
The proms were quite easy to see today in CaK light due to the clean air following the passage of a weather front and the deep blue skies in the suckers gap that followed. Taken with the 40mm scope at 500mm focal length with the home brew CaK filter and PGR Chameleon 3 camera. Despite the sun being relatively spot free there was plenty of white plage on view.
A rather quiet full disk today, not many active regions at all. Big round bunnies caused by chips in my solar continuum filter - must get a new one! Taken with the 40mm scope at 500mm focal length and the PGR Chameleon 3 camera with a ND3 filter over the aperture of the scope.
Wednesday, 12 October 2016
There was lots of subtle detail visible in this whitelight shot of this nice little active region taken with the Tal100R refractor, Lunt solar wedge and the PGR Chameleon 3 USB3 camera. I've been quite pleased with the whitelight shots taken from this session, i've not done any white light for a while, might have to try some more again when there are some nice spots to look at!
Stopping the aperture down from 100mm to 80mm helped to tame the poor seeing on sunday 9th, but it is difficult to make out the penumbral fibrils, which when visible is always a indication of better conditions. Taken with the home brew Cak filter and the PGR Chameleon 3 camera.
The longer wavelengths of whitelight are much less susceptible to the effects of the poorer seeing than the calcium images are, and has been a while since i've done any white light, and are pleased with the results. Taken with the 100mm Tal100R refractor at 2000mm focal length with the Lunt Solar wedge and the PGR Chameleon 3 camera.
Even with the Tal100R stopped down to 80mm the seeing was too much at 2000mm focal length, giving quite a soft feel to the image. Need to try a wedge prism with the PGR Chameleon 3 to see if it helps with the Newtons ring. Still, a lot of nice bright white plage around this active region.
Tuesday, 11 October 2016
Using the 100mm Tall00R and a 2x barlow was really struggling in the seeing conditions, but with declining solar activity and the sun sailing southward below the celestial equator in the autumnal time of year it is important to just image what you can get! Taken with the homebrew CaK filter and the PGR Chameleon 3 camera.
The 40mm scope running at 500mm focal length really is effective in producing these CaK full disks with the home made CaK filter and the PGR Chameleon 3 USB3 camera. It's nice to see some decent activity on the face of our star!
Messing around here with a Lunt50 etalon double stacked on a PST. Tuning was not easy, the PST etalon seems stiff to tune and so a little more investigation is required to tweak, but, this setup seems to have some potential! PGR Chameleon 3 camera was used.
Sunday, 2 October 2016
It really was pushing things with the poor seeing conditions using the 203mm Airylab HaT, with a low sun, rising morning temperatures as we head into October. Still, I persevered and did an animation spanning just over 10 minutes in length, it shows well the poor seeing, but also the waving pampas grass like motion of the solar plasma. The etalon was the double stacked Daystar Quark and the PGR Blackfly GigE IMX249 camera.
This as yet un-designated region on the sun was quite possibly the most active part of the sun today. With the HaT there was a hint of a spot emerging, and the bright plasma and twisted filaments indicate a more active magnetic field associated with it. Taken with the Skywatcher ED80, double stacked Daystar Quark, a Baader solar telecompressor to give a reduction factor of 0.75x, and the PGR Chameleon 3 camera.
There was a lovely prominence visible on the western limb of the sun today. Looking online it was quite dynamic and fast moving, and was a shame there was quite a lot of cloud coming through else I would have attempted a time lapse. Taken with the Skywatcher ED80, Double stacked Daystar Quark and the PGR Blackfly GigE IMX249 camera along with a Baader Solar telecompressor to try and make the most of the poor seeing conditions.
The one feature of interest on an otherwise relatively blank disk today was this seemingly innocuous solar polar crown. This cloud of cool plasma is held aloft above the solar surface by magnetic fields that outline the boundary of gigantic unipolar cells near the poles. Taken with the Skywatcher ED80, double stacked Daystar Quark and the PGR Blackfly GigE IMX249 camera.
This un-designated region in the face of the sun appears to be a small emerging flux region, whether it develops into anything more sizeable remains to be seen. Either way the 203mm Airylab HaT is a superb piece of kit for revealing these smaller areas of activity on our star. Taken with a double stacked Daystar Quark etalon and a PGR Blackfly GigE IMX249 camera.
NASA was reporting a spot less disk today, and as we head towards solar minimum such days will become more and more common. Looking at 393nm in CaK wavelengths while things are still quiet, the sun is not completely blank, with white plage - magnetic froth being visible in a number of regions on the suns disk. These correspond to areas of magnetic activity, just not of sufficient field strength for spot formation to occur. The seeing was not good this morning, with a near ground frost the night before and the day heating up quickly. This was taken with the Tal100R refractor at 1000mm focal length with the home brew CaK filter and the PGR Chameleon 3 camera.
With these wide angle views of our star, for me things were more interesting in CaK wavelengths, with the bright white plage indicating relic areas of activity, either emerging or decaying, more likely the latter. Taken with the 40mm ota at 500mm focal length with the home made CaK filter and the PGR Chameleon 3 camera. There are hints of todays proms at 3 o'clock visible on the edge of the disk.
Monday, 26 September 2016
This is the only activity to speak of on the sun at the moment, and with a decaying magnetic field no longer poses a threat for any M-class flare activity. Taken with the Skywatcher ED80 stopped down to 60mm at ~1400mm focal length with the homebrew CaK filter and the PGR Chameleon 3 camera.
Not much other than a region of decaying plage is what can be seen here in this active region as it headed towards the limb in this image taken with the Skywatcher ED80 stopped down to 60mm at ~1400mm focal length with the homebrew CaK filter and the PGR Chameleon 3 camera.
The seeing conditions were awful on sunday afternoon were awful in the unstable air following the passage of a cold front, but at least they offered clear skies, and, with the seeming distinct lack of good weather lately you have to make the most of every opportunity. The disk was surprisingly blank in CaK light, with a area of place passing towards and over the western limb, and a small active region with some small spots just off mid disk. Taken with the homebrew CaK filter, 40mm scope at ~500mm focal length and the PGR Chameleon 3 camera.
Not a huge amount happening on the disk today, a few active regions, and interesting a southern polar crown in the form of a filament - indicative of the phase we are in with the solar cycle. Proms looked great through the eyepiece though. Taken with a 50mm Lunt etalon on a 40mm f10 scope with the PGR Chameleon 3 camera.
Sunday, 18 September 2016
The weather was frustrating today, it was gloriously sunny until the moment I looked through the scope when the clouds duly arrived. The rest of the day was shooting in the gaps between the clouds. The seeing wasn't too bad at times, and as a result I decided to get the 100mm Tal refractor out with the CaK filter at 2000mm focal length. Taking 1000 frame files meant the stacking software had something to work with, and as a result I was quite pleased with the resultant image of these small spots. The PGR Chameleon 3 camera was used.
Sunday, 11 September 2016
Conditions were far from ideal with high cloud and haze affecting transparency throughout the imaging session, but I was pleased to get a closeup image of the lovely filaprom that was passing over the western limb. Taken with the 127mm Meade AR5 refractor, a double stacked Daystar Quark Chromosphere and a PGR Blackfly GigE IMX249 camera.
I love the furry texture of the plasma in the chromosphere in this limb image, there is active regions buried away beneath it, but they are difficult to see in this image taken with the Daystar Quark with it's transmission profile modified to have steeper sides and reduced transmission in the wings and shoulders to reduce continuum leakage. This is taken with the 127mm Meade AR5 refractor and the PGR Blackfly GigE IMX249 camera.