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I'm posting in the hope it helps anyone else considering a Daystar Scout SS60. The video's not quite representative of what one sees looking through the scope, but gives a general idea of field of view through a 24mm EP. When observing, much more prominence detail and surface texture is visible to the eye and the colour feels less red than it appears in the vid.
I'd have taken this video sooner if I'd realised that afocal video would work so well, so I'll try again next time the sun's available earlier in the day during better seeing. The video's taken by holding an iPhone against an Explore Scientific 24mm eyepiece and adjusting exposure (i.e. afocal video photography). Although I find a Plossl as easy (if not easier) to use as a wide EP for observing, it's simpler to align a smartphone with an eyepiece that has a wider field of view, for afocal video. Hence I used a 24mm ExSc (see below for detail). It seems a fairly quiet solar day, not long after the notoriously quiet 2020 and I believe is still close to the beginning of the sun's new 11 year cycle (hopefully it will become more exciting soon but not as exciting as having any Carrington Events pointing towards us).
I spent some hours, from late morning, watching these prominences form, dissipate and reform. The prom on the Western limb was very tall and bright, looking like a large rectangular tower block, which gradually split, faded as the top looped over to the north, then the top looped back again to the south. At one point this loop appeared to join - forming the outline of the head of a man, whose figure, with arms out, was clear and rather funny. Wish I'd taken this video sooner (or had the ASI183 to hand). The prom quietened and reached its current state (3pm ish) as seen in the video.
The long group of prominences to the South - 4 main and some smaller - were more dim than the prom on the Western limb initially, but they remained impressive, ranging from good to very small and appeared at one point to be as clear row of pine trees, especially the larger right hand prom, with spiky 'branches' and a distinctive triangular fir tree shape, which gradually brightened then faded to this view. The tip of the ‘sharks fin’ to the left of the group extended out to the east then receded.
I'm afraid it's not easy to see the detail in such a simple video - it's slighly more visible to the naked eye. By the time I took this video it had gone 3pm, there was more haze and a lower sun and none of the prominences were particularly impressive.
There were No sunspots easily visible, although a Plage appeared to be visible close to the Westerly limb. Little surface detail other than orange peel, despite tuning the scope (better with the SS60s dial to left of centre for this today). I still need to lots more time with the scope to get the best from it.
I'm a Ha beginner having only observed in whitelight before and only having used this scope twice before, once in combination with a ZWO ASI 183MC astrophotography video camera. Medium seeing, 6/3/21 'third light' on the Daystar Scout SS60 Scope with fixed chromasphere quark built in - 930mm f15 60mm.
Various Eye pieces used: Plossl 40mm, Meade Super Plossl 26mm, Explore Scientific 24mm and 11mm 82 and 68 degree EPs gave good clarity and contrast, but the seeing's not good enough for close viewing of proms. ioptron motor, roughly pointed north was perfectly sufficiently good to keep the sun in view for at least 45 mins at a time. I'll edit this post to add a pic or two of the equipment setup in a moment.
3 images attached are: Afocal Smartphone still image (contrast increased in smartphont), plus two shots of the setup.
My objectives on getting a new Skymax 127 were purely visual observing having parked imaging for a far-off time when I have time on my hands but, on taking delivery of a Baader Hyperion 8-24mm Zoom and fixed Hyperion 24mm 68 degree, I noticed a photo on the box and was intrigued..
My DSLR hardly gets an outing these days with an iPhone camera always on hand but I thought it has to be worth a go so I ordered a Baader M43-T2 thread ring and a Nikon T ring to connect it all together, perhaps this could be quick and dirty way of getting into basic imaging at low cost. It all connects incredibly simply in seconds and although I'm only using the supplied SW plastic-bodied diagonal feels nice and secure when its on the 'scope.
It makes quite a chunky load on the little AZ GTi mount but with the Vixen bar at its extreme balance point the mount performs fine at what I reckon is the very top end of its published 5KG payload.
Initially I just wanted to establish if there's a decently bright and focusable image that makes it to the CCD & given the absence of stars due to current weather and this being a bit of an operation to put together, a daylight test seemed a good idea. I have a very handy church spire about 500m away (about the maximum possible distance from a church in Winchester) and poking it all out of an upper storey window in failing light on an extremely windy Saturday I captured the orb below on a 2.5 s exposure - (distance view included for scale, the spire is centre frame partially in the trees).
Verdict: focussing is tricky, as you can see, but on the Skymax 127 there's definitely plenty of leeway either side with the focuser which answered my initial exam question, it just takes some focus to focus!
I've ordered the Baader heavy duty quick release system pictured on the box which should make this much safer and more practical in the dark and cold, although it does make this not quite the bargain-basement option it is with just the 2 rings.
Given the light & time limitations of the test Id say its definitely worth trying on nighttime targets, if the clouds ever clear...
Will post any results up here but this looks like a really promising way of resurrecting a Nikon D90 that has been on the dole for a while (it shoots RAW video too!)
Any hints, tips or suitable targets appreciated!
By Lee Jenson
I would like to buy a remote telescope subscription as a gift. I have been attracted to the Slooh because of it's catalogue that can be used to schedule the taking of images.
I have two qestions...
1. Do you have any remote observatory advice or suggestions for a beginner to take and save images?
2. To compliment my gift, is there such a thing as a book of astronomical pictures with thier co-ordinates that can used to point a telescope?