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Everything posted by Hughsie

  1. Two consecutive clear nights (a rare event this year) in North Essex allowed me to swap the Lunt and sunglasses for a head torch and point my William Optics Z103 (Big Willie) up towards Cygnus and IC 5146. A bit of research before hand revealed to me that capturing this nebula in the South East of the field of view would allow me to also reveal the dust lanes to the West which gives the impression (to me any way) of the Nebula rolling down into the corner of the frame.
  2. Friday 27th August offered up a clear sky and a change of pace. This year I have been spending more time solar imaging which was great as the night skies have been clouded out. I needed to get back into the swing again and chose a simple target, Messier 39, which was conveniently located in Cygnus, near the Zenith and a reasonable distance from a rising Moon. Data Red - 81 frames @ 60 s. Green - 79 frames @ 60s. Blue - 65 frames @ 60 s. Equipment William Optics Z103 APO refractor. ZWO ASI1600mm Pro Cool. SkyWatcher EQ6R-Pro. RGB 1.25” Chroma filters. Data acquired using SGPro. Pummelled to death in PixInsight.
  3. Our star today captured before the Bank Holiday clouds rolled in. Presented in RGB and monochrome. Lunt 60 mm DS TH⍺/B1200CPT telescope. ZWO ASI174mm camera and tilt adapter. SkyWatcher EQ6R-Pro mount. 3x Altair Astro Barlow and 4x TeleVue Powermate where stated. Images acquired with SharpCap Pro. Images 1 & 2 - The Sun today. The full solar disc revealing some small prominences on the South East and Western limb, AR12859 in the Northern hemisphere and AR12860 in the Southern hemisphere. Images 3 & 4 - AR12859 captured using the 3x Altair Astro Barlow. This region is located N22W28 and contains a single sun spot. Classified Hsx. AR12859 has been producing flares, the largest was classified C3.1 which occurred on 20th August 2021. Images 5 & 6 - AR12859 captured with the 4x Powermate. Images 7 & 8 - AR12860. This is a massive active region comprising 24 sun spots and classified Eki. On Friday 27th August it was made up of 73 sun spots! This region is located S29W17 and has been producing flare activity, the largest being an M4.8 class flare on 28th August 2021. On Friday 27th August a C3 flares from this region launched a CME that is expected to reach Earth on Monday 30th August 2021. Captured using the 3x Altair Astro Barlow. Images 9 & 10 - AR12860 captured using the 4x Powermate. Images 11 & 12 - Prominences on the Western Limb (West is up) along with AR12859 (left) and AR12860 (right).
  4. If photographing clouds and growing weeds were profitable I would be a millionaire by now! Cloud dodging was the name of the game but I think my patience was rewarded. Images 1 & 2 - AR12859 located N20E25. Captured with a 4x Powermate and the equipment listed below. Comprised of a single spot and classified Hsx. Between 12:03 UT and 12:24 UT this region produced a small class B9.0 solar flare. Images 3 & 4 - AR12860 located S27E36. Captured with a 4x Powermate. This region is comprised of 10 spots and classified Cao. Images 5 & 6- A close up of AR12859 captured with a 4x Powermate. Presented in RGB and mono. Images 7 & 8 - A close up of AR12860 captured with a 4x Powermate. Again, presented in RGB and mono. Equipment; Lunt 60mm DS TH⍺/B1200CPT scope. ZWO ASI174mm camera and tilt adapter. SkyWatcher EQ6R-Pro mount. Images acquired using SharpCap Pro. Barlow/Powermate as listed. 300 out of 1,000 frames stacked. Thanks for viewing.
  5. Hi Damian, thank you for your comments. The solar book is a great read. Some parts are highly technical, however, there is some really good ideas and tips within it. The processing section is brilliant plus there is a section on info available on the tinternet. Enjoy the read.
  6. The large prominence we have been imaging on the North East limb these last few days has, due to the rotation of the Sun, moved on to the disc and is a now a filaprom. AR12858 is positioned towards the centre of the disc N12E03 made up of 6 small spots and classified Cro. I had a brief window between clouds and was very lucky to catch the image below with a Lunt 60mm THa/B1200CPT double stacked, ZWO ASI 174mm with tilt adapter and a 3x Altair Astro Barlow. 200 from 1,000 frames stacked, inverted in ImPPG and finished in PixInsight.
  7. Having set up my imaging gear yesterday morning I was waiting for the Sun to come into view and took a snap....
  8. A few hours after I finished by solar observing yesterday, a few new active regions sprung up all conveniently located together and shown here. On the 13th August I noticed I had a light leak in my image train creating light smears across the sensor. The Lunt telescope came with a a cloth bag which is pretty useless as bags go as you can’t place the scope in the bag and then into the carry case. When I noticed the light leaking in I thought I needed something to cover it. My wife had the washing out and I thought about using a pair of my pants (underwear for any Americans reading this). But as I already had my head under a black sheet so I could view my laptop screen without glare, the last thing I needed was someone looking over the fence seeing a man under a sheet with his pants on his telescope which is pointing at the Sun. Somehow, the Lunt bag seemed more appropriate. Unfortunately, I forgot to use the bag today despite it being smack bang in front of me. Don’t ask if there were any pants to hand.....just look at the pictures and smears! Image 1 - The solar disc revealing AR12855 / 57 & 53. Images 2 & 3 - A closer view of the three active regions mentioned above both in mono and RGB. Image 4 - A nice prominence on the South East limb. Image 5 - A much larger prominence on the North East limb.
  9. Hazy start to the morning with slow moving high cloud all over the place. Here is a selection of what was visible earlier today. Image 1 - The full solar disc. AR12853 got its spots back and has been producing decent flares whilst AR12855 lost a spot but is still hanging in there. Oooh then there is those nice proms on the Eastern side of the solar disc. Images 2 & 3 - AR12853 classified Axx and located N22W13 on the disc. At the time of imaging it had two spots. It has been producing A class flares but last night SDO detected an increase in strength to C1.5 at 21.05 UT. Here we have both a wide view of the region and a closer inverted version. Images 4 - AR12855 classified Axx and located N13E32 on the solar disc. Yesterday it had three spots but one has since decayed. Ar12853 is lurking in the top right hand corner. Images 5 & 6 - A prominence on the North East limb and estimate of its height plus a gentle reminder of how insignificant we are. Images 7 & 8 - Another prominence this time on the South East limb. All the best, John
  10. The following is a selection of images from 10 August 2021. Image 1 - Close up of AR12853. Image 2 - AR12852 near the South West limb and a nearby prominence. This AR region gradually decayed as the day progressed. Image 3 - AR12853 rotated c90 degrees and prominences on the solar limb. It almost looks like the chromosphere has been ‘dug out’ by this AR region. Image 4 - AR12853 in the same orientation but not inverted. A bright flare region can be seen and this activity has been continuing for several days now. Cheers John
  11. Below are a selection of images taken with the set up detailed below. I recently acquired a 4x Tele Vue Powermate which has reduced the focal ratio of my Lunt 60mm combined with the ZWO ASI174mm down to a level more manageable, whereas with the 5x Powermate there was significant over-sampling. Here we go.... Image 1 - An overview of the solar disc revealing AR12853 which I focused my attention on today and a nice prom on the South East limb. Image 2 - Moving to the South East of the disc we have a nice prominence but little in the way of detail on the Chromosphere. Captured with the 4x Powermate. Image 3 - Inverted image of AR12853. No spots on show but this area has been showing a lot of flare activity. A nice filament near the ‘dark’ flare areas and a few smaller filaments to the South. Image 4 - Just for a different perspective I have included an inverted image of the same region in Image 3, both captured with the 4x Powermate. Image 5 - A wider view of the last two images showing the position of AR12853 on the solar disc. Image 6 - Image 5 now inverted to reveal the prominences on the solar limb. Equipment: Lunt 60mm TH⍺/B1200CPT ZWO ASI174mm & Tilt Adapter SkyWatcher EQ6R-Pro Tele Vue 4x Powermate Images acquired with SharpCap Pro. Stacked using Autostakkert 3, inverted with ImPPG and remaining processing done through PixInsight. Cheers John
  12. It is cloudy now but there was a nice clear sky this morning which allowed me enough time to capture the proms and a small AR on show.
  13. Only one active region with sun spots was on show plus some modest prominences as well. Image 1 - AR12850 rotated 90 degrees anti-clockwise. Lunt 60mm TH⍺/B1200 CPT scope, ZWO ASI174mm, tilt adapter and Altair Astro 3x Barlow. Image 2 - Closer view of AR12850 and nearby proms. 5x Powermate plus above scope/camera and binning set to 2x2.
  14. Some prominences with estimated height on the North East and South East limb plus AR12850 captured with a ZWO ASI174mm, 5x Powermate and binned 2x2. Exciting times ahead with some new equipment arriving. Not saying anymore as those clouds are listening.
  15. My grey phase........ Image 1 - Solar disc. AR 12850 positioned on the lower right with a nice filament close by. Some prominences on show and a new active region without a spot positioned on the lower left. Image 2 - AR12850 near the South West Limb. Captured with a 3x Barlow. Image 3 - Moving a little closer on AR12850 with a 5x Powermate. Image 4 - Prominences on the North West Limb. Looks a bit blowy up there. Image 5 - An old fashioned spherical bomb with burning fuse. Prominence positioned on the North West Limb. Image 6 - A new active region (no spot - top left) with prominences on the South East Limb.
  16. I recently purchased the Solar Astronomy book published by Axilone Astronomy and it has encouraged me to look at image acquisition and processing somewhat differently to what I have been doing so far. Admittedly there are still a lot of information to go through, however, it is a great read and well worth the investment based on what i have read through so far. For image acquisition I use the ZWO ASI174mm camera and to date I have been adjusting exposure/gain to fill 60-70% of the histogram. Seems I have been missing a trick and with the images below I pushed this to 80% to hopefully improve SNR (in recent days I have gone further to 90%). I have also been somewhat ‘hung up’ on FPS and have kept to using Mono8 to avoid the drop off in frame rate when using Mono16 despite it offering a higher dynamic range. Also, the combination of scope/camera pixel size and Barlow lenses suggested that with a 2.5x and 3x Barlow I would be achieving a good resolution with decent seeing, however, when using the 5x Powermate there would be significant oversampling. A few weeks back I attempted image acquisition with a 5x Powermate and adjusted the camera settings to Bin 2x2 without much success but the seeing wasn’t great either. The 29th July offered a steady sky and so not wanting to be deterred I tried Bin 2x2 again. Here is what was thrown out..... Images 1 & 2 - Prominence on the North East Limb. Here Mono16 was used and I pushed the histogram to 80% which allowed me to capture both the prominences (even though they were barely visible when live on my lap top screen) and the Chromosphere. I know others have done this before but I have avoided doing this, preferring to capture the proms separately by significantly raising the camera gain. After seeing the results I am happy to change! 40% of 1,000 images stacked. Exposure time 10.7 ms, Gain = 100. Altair Astro 3x Barlow used. Bin 1x1. Images 3 & 4 - Moving across to the South West Limb we have some more prominences. Again the same approach as Images 1 & 2 was adopted using the same exposure time, Gain and Barlow. I just need to sort out that bright edge of the disk. Image 5 - AR12847. Mono16 used and Bin 1x1. Exposure time was 21ms with Gain set at 150. This was difficult to process and noise was difficult to control. 5x Powermate was used. Image 6 - Again AR12847 captured a few minutes later. Exposure time 20 ms, Gain 150. Mono16 and Bin 2x2 used. I was able to push the sharpening of the image a bit further without a significant increase in noise. The image size has also been scaled up slightly to match the size of Image 5. What do you think? John
  17. The morning started with clear a clear sky but no sooner had I finished capturing the full disk and flats, the clouds descended and did not break for another 6 days. Images 1 & 2 - AR12846 and AR12848 are visible in the northern hemisphere. AR’s 12844, 12847 & 12849 are shown in the Southern hemisphere.
  18. My observations for 22 July 2021. Images 1 & 2 - Full disk revealing some small prominences, a number of active regions and filaments. Images 3 & 4 - AR12842 classification Dsi, has put on a good show and is now drifting from view. A nice swirling prom is visible towards the top of the disc in the inverted image. 402 of the best 1,005 frames stacked. Exposure time 8.5 ms, Gain = 80. 3x Barlow used. Images 5 & 6 - AR12846 classification Cso moving away from the North East limb. Some small prominences are also visible. 402 of the best 1,006 frames stacked. Exposure time 8.5 ms, Gain = 80. 3x Barlow used. Images 7 & 8 - A closer view of AR12846 using a 5x Powermate. 402 of the best 1,007 frames stacked. Exposure time 12 ms, Gain = 170. Images 9 & 10 - AR12848 classified Bxo, located West of AR12846. Best 406 out of 1,016 frames stacked. Exposure time 8.5 ms, Gain = 80. 3x Barlow used. Images 11 & 12 - A nine pane mosaic of the solar disc captured using a 2.5x Powermate. Equipment; Lunt TH⍺/B1200CPT telescope. ZWO ASI174mm camera. Tilt adapter. SkyWatcher EQ6R-Pro mount. 3x Altair Astro Barlow and 2.5x & 5x TeleVue Powermate. Software; SharpCap Pro for data acquisition. Autostakkert 3. ImPPG & PixInsight for processing. Thank you for dropping by. John
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