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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.

Solar AR 120mm - 2.jpg

Solar AR 120mm.jpg

Solar Prominence 9th Oct 2016.jpg

Solar Surface 120mm.jpg

Surface-1.jpg

Surface-2.jpg

Surface-and-Prom.jpg

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Hi Alastair,

Well done. You certainly seem to have tamed the Quark.

Unfortunately there is never  enough clear sky - night or day.

When I first started doing solar, my wife thought it was a great idea as she reckoned I would not be troubled with clouds in the same way I was with nocturnal astronomy 😂

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9 minutes ago, Uplooker said:

Hi Alastair,

Well done. You certainly seem to have tamed the Quark.

Unfortunately there is never  enough clear sky - night or day.

When I first started doing solar, my wife thought it was a great idea as she reckoned I would not be troubled with clouds in the same way I was with nocturnal astronomy 😂

Hi Ian,

Cheers :-) Absolutely loving the Quark. I thought the views at 80mm were impressive but moving to 120mm has changed everything.

Haha, I had a similar conversation with my substantially better half about going to dark sites....having to explain that while these sites are very dark they are also subject to clouds :-)

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Some superb images, well done Alistair, I tried my Quark on the ST80 but found more aperture was needed to get more detail.

One thing, as you may have found, you also need the best conditions for using it in bigger scopes and these don't come along very often.

What did you use to process your images ? which camera ?

It would be nice to see some mono versions of images as well.

Unlike "normal" solar scopes the Quark tuning can be experimented with to bring out different features, going from what's called the red wing to the blue wing, there's an interesting post by Montana in this forum experimenting with the tuning from one extreme to the other, worth doing a search for.

Good luck with your continued Quarking, clouds here ATM but supposed to clear later so may get lucky.

Dave

 

 

 

 

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11 minutes ago, Davey-T said:

Some superb images, well done Alistair, I tried my Quark on the ST80 but found more aperture was needed to get more detail.

One thing, as you may have found, you also need the best conditions for using it in bigger scopes and these don't come along very often.

What did you use to process your images ? which camera ?

It would be nice to see some mono versions of images as well.

Unlike "normal" solar scopes the Quark tuning can be experimented with to bring out different features, going from what's called the red wing to the blue wing, there's an interesting post by Montana in this forum experimenting with the tuning from one extreme to the other, worth doing a search for.

Good luck with your continued Quarking, clouds here ATM but supposed to clear later so may get lucky.

Dave

 

 

 

 

Thanks Dave :-)

The 120mm f/8.3 seems to be a great match for the Quark. Yes, indeed, I have certainly been struggling with focusing on the past two outings. Sunday afternoon was my last outing and I spent more time focusing than imaging but it was more of a test of the tilt adapter I've just purchased (which works like a dream).

I'm imaging with a Point Grey Blackfly (IMX249) mono GigE camera which has fairly large pixels and is a good match for close up detail with the 120mm. I've been shooting 30 seconds at 1920x1200 (approx 40fps). The fps on this camera is great and with an ROI of 640x480 I'm getting upwards of 70fps. I've been stacking 50% of the best frames in Autostakkert2 and then running through IMPPG for deconvolution and finishing up with a few sharpness, curve and level tweaks in Photoshop.

I've been trying desperately to shoot a 30 second video for each tuning, i.e. -5 to +5 but the weather never plays ball for long enough :-) I'm finding that +2 or +3 is best for my setup.

Here's some of the mono versions post deconvolution, which don't have the Photoshop tweaks.

Sun_102524_g3_ap3656-deconv.tif

Sun_103109_g3_ap3656-deconv.tif

Sun_104411_g3_ap3-deconv-v3.tif

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Some nice images there Alistair, looks like you're doing everything right.

My setup is pretty similar to yours

Focusing can be a fiddle, I really need to get a motor focuser fitted to my scope and it really makes it so much easier to focus without touching the scope, I've got a couple on other scopes but the focuser on the Tecnosky is not very easy to fit one to, need to 3D print one.

I'll see if I can find a link to Alexandras post

Dave

 

Edited by Davey-T
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19 minutes ago, Davey-T said:

Some nice images there Alistair, looks like you're doing everything right.

My setup is pretty similar to yours

Focusing can be a fiddle, I really need to get a motor focuser fitted to my scope and it really makes it so much easier to focus without touching the scope, I've got a couple on other scopes but the focuser on the Tecnosky is not very easy to fit one to, need to 3D print one.

I'll see if I can find a link to Alexandras post

Dave

 

Thanks Dave.

I was sat there on Sunday thinking, now, if only I had a motorised focuser :-) I think I'm in the same boat as yourself. I replaced the stock focuser on the OTA for a dual speed crayford and while it has made a big difference in terms of precision focusing I'm not sure if I can fit the motorised kit without some mods to the focuser.

Thanks for the link to Alexandra's post, this is exactly what I've been trying to achieve. Very helpful indeed, thank you :-)

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I would think the "cheap" Skywatcher motor focuser would fit the original focuser, don't know about the upgraded one, if you email FLO they'll know.

Just using the hand controller makes it so much easier.

Dave

Edited by Davey-T
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2 hours ago, Davey-T said:

I would think the "cheap" Skywatcher motor focuser would fit the original focuser, don't know about the upgraded one, if you email FLO they'll know.

Just using the hand controller makes so much it so much easier.

Dave

I'll give the good guys at FLO a call. The prospect of not touching the scope to focus is very appealing :-)

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Very nice images, particularly the first. I would have liked to see the B&W versions as well. I got a feathertouch focuser. I also got a motor but will not use it till next season, after I upgrade my equipment. I have done alright with my manual focusing, but it it is getting tiresome. I find variable seeing to be the biggest issue regarding good focusing.

-Charles

Edited by cshahar
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4 minutes ago, cshahar said:

Very nice images, particularly the first. I would have liked to see the B&W versions as well. I got a feathertouch focuser. I also got a motor but will not use it till next season, after I upgrade my equipment. I have done alright with my manual focusing, but it it is getting tiresome. I find variable seeing to be the biggest issue regarding good focusing.

-Charles

Thanks Charles :-)

I'll be sure to post both mono and false colour images next time. Personally, I prefer mono Ha images (both solar and deep space objects) but the majority of people I speak to on a daily basis (non astronomers) tell me they prefer colour enhanced images. 

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Alastair, I think you are right about people's preferences. But I find that information gets lost with the color images. True, they are prettier, but the B&W images seem to be more faithful to detail.

I like your last image where you retain both disk and prom detail. In fact, your images are great and showcase what the Quark can do.

-Charles

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Hi Alastair,

Charles is totally correct about variable seeing. Lots of people prefer to do solar as early in the morning as possible, before lots of thermals are setup. It also make. Big difference what you are view from or over i.e. having your setup and viewing over concrete or tarmac is less beneficial than grass or water. Seeing and transparency are huge factors in solar, very similar to planetary.

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Excellent images. Love them all, especially the last one: best prominence I've seen in a long time!

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17 hours ago, cshahar said:

Alastair, I think you are right about people's preferences. But I find that information gets lost with the color images. True, they are prettier, but the B&W images seem to be more faithful to detail.

I like your last image where you retain both disk and prom detail. In fact, your images are great and showcase what the Quark can do.

-Charles

Thanks Charles for your very kind words. I decided to rework a couple of my pics in mono and this is very much my preferred format that I'll be sticking to now. As you say, there's a lot of detail gets washed out in the colour versions. I've inverted my prom picture and it shows the filaprom up to the limb in far more detail.

Double-Filament-Mono.jpg

Mono-Prominence.jpg

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17 hours ago, Uplooker said:

Hi Alastair,

Charles is totally correct about variable seeing. Lots of people prefer to do solar as early in the morning as possible, before lots of thermals are setup. It also make. Big difference what you are view from or over i.e. having your setup and viewing over concrete or tarmac is less beneficial than grass or water. Seeing and transparency are huge factors in solar, very similar to planetary.

Hi Ian,

Thanks for the very helpful advice. I set up in the garden whenever possible but sometimes I have to position on my patio area to get a good line of sight, which isn't ideal as we're quite overlooked from the East-West, West so it's tricky this time of year. I've seen a lot of posts containing info on seeing conditions for solar observing/imaging. Do you know of a live app/website that provides this info ? I'm very much a "if there's little cloud I'll set up" type of person but perhaps I need to plan my sessions with a little more accuracy to get the best results. Problem is, solar observing is exceptionally addictive :-)

Edited by AlastairW

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17 hours ago, Ruud said:

Excellent images. Love them all, especially the last one: best prominence I've seen in a long time!

Thank you so much but I'm a little embarrassed as I haven't been solar imaging for very long and very much feel I'm on the shoulders of giants :-) I was amazed at the level of prominence detail in the Chromosphere version of the Quark as I really wasn't expecting it given it's designed for surface detail.

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1 hour ago, michael.h.f.wilkinson said:

Superb set of images

Thanks very much Michael :-)

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