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Found 70 results

  1. I'm still battling fairly heavy smoke from the wildfires west of my Las Vegas location. Otherwise, seeing was 4/5. Thanks for the peek. Clear Skies
  2. I stumbled across this little ditty while waiting for the Quark to warm up Thanks for the peek. Clear Skies
  3. I am looking for a Daystar Quark Chromosphere. I am looking for a perfectly working unit without any degradation in optics. A few recently took images from the eyepiece are welcomed. The price is as low as possible (of course). Cosmetic is not a concern. Give me a message here or email me at <private contact details removed> (remove the {xxx}) to see the email address. I'll pay via paypal and accept shipping worldwide. Thanks for your attention. Clear skies.
  4. I couldn't do much with this small active region from yesterday, April 17th. So I turned to black & white. The vignetting is intentional. (My wife said, "Whatcha doing... trying to be an artist?") LOL I need Charl to teach me how to do this. Thanks for the peek. Clear Skies
  5. Clouds blocked last night's meteor shower, so I stayed up a while and did a little more work on some data from earlier in the week. Thanks for the peek. Clear Skies
  6. I the surface because the surface is so boring right now. LOL These little buggers were dancing about while I was shooting some others. Thanks for the peek. Clear Skies
  7. This is a 4 pane mosaic using the following equipment :- AZEQ6 Mount, 152mm TecnoSky Refractor, Daystar Quark Chromosphere, DMK21AU618 Mono. Best 20% from each capture of 2000 frames. Seeing was probably the best i have seen for a while, captured more data with the IMX174 chip after the DMK but have yet to process that. Hope this ok & all the best.
  8. Only processed the first folder & put this 4 pane mosaic together. Although I am now getting to grips with the 152 BadBoy I decided I needed to test the Quark more, these are on Minus two clicks on the Quark dial. Usual set up :- 152mm TecnoSky Refractor, 135mm D-ERF, Quark Chromosphere + 2" 0.5 Reducer. 1500 frames taken best 20% stacked, seeing - pretty good.
  9. May have been sunny but the seeing was terrible, salvaged a few from the day. Usual set up 152mm Frac, 135mm D-ERF, Quark Chromosphere & DMK""618 1000 frames 10% stacked.
  10. Here's an attempt from today. I was blessed with clear skies almost all day so tried my hand. This is using a Skywatcher st80 80mm f/4.5 with omegon t2F-m48M adapter and then the quark screwed down tight to the end. I am try8ing to get to the level of detail seen here in others. These images are 20 secs between 70 and 100 fps using firecapture and a ZWL120 mono. Focusing is as good as I can make it by hand. There's still a few dust spots left but other than that, any tips? Active region Large prominence Mike
  11. A wide(r) angle view of both ARs on the disk ASIO1600MM-Cool at full frame, Quark, Opticstar 127mmApo, Baader 35nm filter as ERF MY, my - hasn't AR2673 changed over the last 5 days! And a close up of 2674 ASIO1600MM-Cool at 1/4 frame ROI, Quark, Opticstar 127mmApo, Baader 35nm filter as ERF I tried an animation of 2674, but quality wasn't good enough - image quality, colour, brightness all varied by frame. Any hints and tips on how to improve are very welcome. Regards Neil
  12. I got asked by a member on another forum what my workflow was when doing Solar imaging using the Daystar Quark Chromosphere so thought I would do a new topic for anyone else interested. I am explaining my process but yours may work as well, it also seems a little simplistic but it's for the benefit of others that have not done as much imaging or use alternative software, sorry for that. Getting Ready :- Clean my 2" 0.5 FR, DMK ccd sensor window & 2" UV/IR filter, screw it all together & get it on the Quark so no more dust gets to it, important for me. Plug the Quark in & leave while setting up, make sure (for me) tuner is on 1 turn CCW. After pointing the scope North'ish I go through the hand controller inputs like you have to, make sure everything is correct & no align points. Just pointing out that you don't need to be super accurate with Solar imaging with your mount, make sure it's on Solar Tracking though. Once Quark is on, IC Capture is running & I have an image, do a rough focus, fairly bright. While watching the ICCapture image window on the laptop I slew the solar limb to the left side of the image box, about 5mm from going 'out of the box', now I slew up/down to make sure ccd is aligned, if the disc slews at a slight angle, loosen & rotate the Quark imaging train in the scope & re test the slew, if it goes up & down & retains the same gap up/down the left hand side I am good to go. If not re adjust until it is, very important for mosaic's. Once that is set up I then check the disc or browse SolarHam online to see what's available on the disc. I do try & do the mosaic run first but more on that later. I centre a sunspot in my capture fov, zoom to 200%, drop Gamma to 15, Exposure to 217 (or other) & adjust the Gain up, what you want is the chromosphere detail very dark but no flare area's too bright, this makes the image extremely contrasty & excellent for getting good focus. Now adjust focus in/out, I stop on the out then go back in slowly already noting previously by feel where the 'good' focus was approximately, once there I lock the focus on the scope tube BUT only gently. Un Zoom the image to 100%, re set Gain to it's lowest if you don't need it. Now I don't use the histogram anymore as I now know how my Quark likes to operate & behaves but you should use it to be honest. Acquiring the images :- Select your desired frame rate, my max is 60fps, make sure data capture is UNCOMPRESSED, Y800 is mine. Select your Exposure setting & Gamma just so you have nearly filled your histogram indicator view but not quite, now rack it back a little, 90-95% is good. Re centre target & capture 1000 - 2000 frames, once saved go to your next target & repeat. Once you have completed your captures make sure to take a FLAT frame video, DO NOT adjust any Exposure, Gamma or Gain settings. Flat frame capture :- Just slew to the solar centre, try to find a pretty blank evenly lit area, de focus the scope & capture 200 - 300 frames, that's all you need, once done goto your capture folder, make a new folder & select all of that sessions data & drag / drop into the new folder. This avoids any confusion later especially with the flat frame involved. Now may I suggest you do try some really low Gamma shots as well, go for Gamma of 35 - 40 & an Exposure setting that shows a capture image which has a lot of contrast, then do the above steps again. I have yet to achieve the same results through post processing with a high Gamma & a low Gamma, low just seems to give more detail I find but your mileage may vary. Stacking :- I will assume you use AS!2 to stack your images as it is really the best there is that I have found so far. Open AS!2, open your FLAT frame capture first, Click Image Calibration & select Create Master Frame, select the same folder where this flat capture was from & give it a name....Flat is good Once done Open your first solar capture from the same folder, once loaded make sure your settings are as follows. SURFACE is selected Improved Tracking is ticked Improved Tracking ON Noise Robust on 3 (2 is also good just have a fiddle) Frame Percentage To Stack = 10% HQ Refine is ticked Then select Analyse, once done set your AP Size to 20, Min Bright 0 then click Place AP Grid then Stack. Post Processing :- I use IMPPG to do almost all the processing apart from some tweaks in PS, it's an excellent sharpening tool & I recommend you search & download it. It takes a while to find the correct settings that you are happy with but feel free to try these settings :- Lucy Richardson Deconvolution Sigma 0.9868 Iterations 300 Prevent Ringing Unticked Unsharp Masking Sigma 26.5757 Amount 2.2760 You will know what they mean when you see the program running but have a play with all the adjustments, watch out for clipping the image though using the Tone Curve. Once you have an image you are happy with save it out for further processing in PS (or not). Photoshop :- In PS I first re size the image to 96 in the Resolution box, Width 800 (these are good for me, yours may differ) I then use a mix of Unsharp Mask, Focus Magic & the High Pass filter on the image, going easy though as after all the detail wants to appear to be soft in texture not all 'pointy', you know what I mean hopefully. You can also invert the image (also available in IMPPG), colour & add text then save it out. When saving the image out don't make it too big, if you post a huge image it will only accentuate the bad points not the good. A few notes :- If doing mosaic's when looking for a good Exposure / Gamma setting make sure you set this up on the CENTRE of the solar disc, if not what you may find is the captures look fine on screen at the top, bottom & limbs but as you near the middle the image will just overexpose & be way too bright then you start all over again. If you have a small hard drive or not a lot of room use Compressed format, I did when I first started & they looked fine, no one even questioned the quality (use uncompressed if possible though) Use 1 or 2 AP Points in AS!2 for prominences or you may find your stacked image looks more Tetris than Solar Grab a lot of captures & use different Exposures & Gamma, you don't want to set up all that hard earned gear, shoot 5 captures go indoors & find they are all bad , fill that drive up & you are almost guaranteed a good final image & you have more chance of imaging with good seeing. Maybe grab your mosaic first, this way if the clouds do turn up afterwards you still have a whole disc to choose some single images from & not just a couple of single shots. Play safe, use your filters wisely & never ever look through a telescope at the sun without the proper precautions. I appreciate it is a long explanation but beginner's could do with a detailed account of how you can go about grabbing some solar captures as well as seasoned imagers. I hope this helps some of you but don't forget this is how it works for me & not everyone's set up is the same. Have fun, stay safe. Ewan
  13. First (Ha) light today with the Quark, ASI174MM and my new tilt adapter from Rowan astronomy. Newtons rings are now a thing of the past I have it set at 2 degrees and have aligned along the long edge of the chip, may be able to get away with a smaller angle but thats for another day. Capturing full frame 16bit @ 70fps really eats up the disk space ! A quick stack 'n' sharpen looks pretty promising.
  14. Clear skies early this morning, AR2661 looking nice. There might be a full disk to follow later today (100Gb to process !) ED80 DS Pro - Quark chromospehere - ASI174MM
  15. seeings not so good today , very fine cloud hovering in front of sol and fazy too, AR2645 has nearly gone, its been a great AR and I'm sad to see it go. 2648 is a poor replacement I hope it develops. kit- ed80, Quark chromo, asi120mc, about 300 frames in each shot . thanks for looking and I wish you clear skys, charl. ar2648. ar2645. wider prom 1 invert prom 2 invert. ive 16 more vids so there might be some updates... Heres the other half of my imaging team looking out for clouds... and now hes processing.....
  16. very very cloudy here got these pics by the skin of me teeth, darn forcast wrong again , the new AR is looking very nice in the vis in the clear bits, there looks to be 1 spot but could be a few pores aswell. kit- ed80, ERF, Quark chromo, asi 120mc. thanks for looking and I hope you have better skys than me, charl. AR2650. Wider AR2648. Wider. prom not very good image, the cloud wouldn't play fair.
  17. I've been using a Quark chromosphere now since May and just wanted to share what an absolute delight this piece of equipment is (albeit I never seem to have enough cloud free sky to get it right on band). I had been using a ST80 but felt this was lacking and not a great match for the Quark in terms of focal length. I've since moved to a 120mm refractor and hope the images show how capable the Quark is.
  18. Lots going on in Ha today, I only got a brief view of today's proms before the clouds came along to spoil the party.
  19. Apologies for uploading a lot of 'old' data, no time at the time to go through all of it & have only just done so. Some ok some not so great but thought I would share them as our star is pretty quite at the moment with surface action. Thanks for looking. 399.tif
  20. Processed this before I went to work at 7 this morning, couldn't sleep last night so was up early & was just browsing my folders. Found some PG 174 images I caught the other day after grabbing data with the DMK first, as I was having a little agro getting the Genika Astro capture settings set properly I made sure I caught data with the old ccd first. Having bought a Daystar Interference Eliminator from Altair Astro the other week I gave it a go & it worked first time with a tilt of about 1mm if that, this image is the only one I will probably do from that batch as I now getting behind again. It's not as good as I had hoped but haze was playing it's part again. Thanks for looking. Ewan
  21. Not many chances of Solar Imaging this year so far but caught this one. AR2741 from the 12th late afternoon AZEQ6-GT 152mm Technosky Refractor @ f5.9 135mm Baader D-ERF Daystar Quark Chromosphere + Eliminator PG IMX174 5862 Frames, 4Ms 30 second capture @ 195Fps 1024 x 768 Mono16 Best 45% Frames stacked in AS!3, ImPPG then tweaked in PS Atb
  22. Finally got a little break in the sky yesterday. Seeing not great, as I was dodging clouds moving thru. Thanks for the peek. Clear Skies
  23. For some time I have been considering the purchase of a quark solar eyepiece, but I can't decide which one! It comes in two brands: "prominence" and "chromosphere", apparently each one is used to look at different bits. But it seems to me that both of these form part of the Ha experience. Of course, the ideal solution would be to purchase both - but that is impractical for other (financial) reasons. So which of these options is the best for "general purpose" viewing/imaging? Don't know! So, quark-owners, which one did you buy and why? Thanks.
  24. We finally got a decent active region. Now, if it will stay active during its trek across the surface we'll all have some fun. Thanks for the peek. Clear Skies
  25. Here's a little "action" from April 17th. I shot it with a wider field just for fun. Hope you all have clear skies ahead. Thanks for looking. Clear Skies
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