Archive for August, 2011

First Solar images with Coronado Solarmax II 90mm and other solar gears

The pictures below are among the first images taken with my new solar astrophotography gears. By using H-alpha  and Calcium-K narrowband imaging, it is possible to show different features of the Sun, at different level of the photosphere and chromosphere.

At nicely visualized on,  white light observing shows features of the photosphere, CA-K observing shows the lower level of the chromosphere, and H-Alpha shows higher level of the chromosphere.

All images where processed with Avistack v2.0 and photoshop cs4. I found avistack to be straightforward to use when processing either lunar or solar images and overall better than registax on these targets. For each shot,  the best 500-600 frames (out of a set of 1000-1200 frames) were combined using Avi stack.

I used photoshop CS4 for final processing, with the astra image wavelet plugin.

Date:  8/21/2011  at 22h26min UTC – San Bruno, CA

Solarmax II 90mm f/d 8.8with Cemax Barlow 2x and DMK

Seeing:  3/10 – transparency: 3/6

This is the  Sunspot group AR 1271 in H-Alpha… I saw a flare close to the two top sunspots when observing visually.  Once I set the camera and computer.. gone!  This is too bad.

The Sunspot views are nice visually, however digital processing brings more details than visually. On the other hands, visual views of the prominences are very impressive and close to the digital end-result.

The same sunspot group AR 1271  is in white light below.

Date:  8/21/2011 at 22h40min UTC – San Bruno, CA

Herschel Wedge, continum solar filter, and Stellarvue SVR90T at f/d 7

Barlow 2.5x siebert optics and DMK

Even though the Herschel wedge gives very nice views – this specific sunspot group was not looking very impressive visually in white light. Solar granules are visible even though this is not a very high resolution image.

Last, AR1271 in Calcium K Wavelength with the Herschel wedge and CA-K 8nm baader narrowband filter.

Date:  8/21/2011  at 22h53min UTC – San Bruno, CA

Stellarvue SVR90T with Herschel Wedge.

Baader Calcium-k narrowband filter, Barlow 2.5x. and

One week later, even though there were no such noticeable sunspot groups, the H-Apha telescope showed its versatility – and I was able to get nice pictures of protuberences and of two small sunspots, AR 1279 and AR 1277.

Date:  8/28/2011  at 18h46min UTC – – San Bruno, CA

Solarmax II 90mm with Cemax Barlow 2x and DMK

Seeing:  3/10 – transparency: 3/6

The picture below is a composite of two set of pictures, one with longer exposures to capture details in the prominences, and one with shorter exposures to capture details on the solar limb.

Below is a cropped picture on the central prominence, with the limb darkened to highlight details in the prominence.

Date:  8/28/2011  at 19h08min UTC – – San Bruno, CA

Solarmax II 90mm with Cemax Barlow 2x and DMK

Seeing:  3/10 – transparency: 3/6

From top to bottom, you can see sunspots AR 1279 and AR 1277.

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