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Smiley face in sunspot AR1731


matt_man21
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The sun really is smiling today... i just went out for a few minutes before the high cirrus cloud rolled over. I noticed after i stacked a few frames that AR1731 Looks like a smiley face... (sorry about the dust bunnies i need to clean my sensor)

Solar astronomy is amazingly fun, I just can't wait to make a filter for my 8" F10 SCT to dig out some detail... The prospect of 8 inches of aperture pointed at the sun however, even with a filter terrifies me incase something goes wrong... i have visions of my sensor rapidly turning back into sand.

A Quick question.... Am i better making a Stopped down filter or one for the full apeture, What are the tradeoffs? I've come to realise that as far as optics are concerned everything is a trade off between conflicting goals and i'd like to make the best educated decisions i can :rolleyes:

post-9516-0-65281400-1367157786_thumb.jp

Clear skies,

Matt

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Good picture. Old wisdom says that observing the Sun with an aparture over 4" (100mm) will gain you nothing in terms of detail seen (The last thing you are concerned with is gathering more light!!!). The problem is the atmosphere - during the day it is always in turmoil due to the Sun's heat. The whole process becomes self-defeating as the clearer the skies, the hotter the Sun's effect, the worse the seeing becomes. That's why the "best" time for Solar observing is early(ish) in the morning - when the Sun had got high enough in the sky but has not really heated the atmosphere up too much.

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It's changing very quickly i took another image just 3 hours later and you can see some significant changes, some areas are generating more magnetic poles and other parts seem to be melting away, I had absolutely no idea that the sun was this dynamic ( :Envy: i used to think that jupiter was exciting!!!).

It's interesting what you were saying about Seeing being an issue during the daytime, I'll likely go for a stopped down Filter for my SCT in that case... I'm quite eager to throw as much focal length as i can at the sun, My eyes aren't quite as High Definition as they should be (due to an incident with a 10W Argon/Krypton Laser and no eye protection)... Tonight i'll get the SCT in to fine Collimation, build the filter and wait for a break in the clouds tomorrow.

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Excellent image Matt, you have mastered solar in a very short time. The main problem with large apertures is the amount of light that gets through to the camera which in some cases will saturate. I have had to use neutral density filters from my photographic days before to reduce the light when using a large white light filter. Roger is probably right, going over 4" won't give a significant advantage due to the seeing, a winters day is probably best, we get clearer days in colder weather and thanks to the run of northlies we have had recently it is always cold up here.

Keep up the good work,

Robin.

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