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I made an acquisition and processing tutorial a while back (3 years ago? Yikes!) and it is fairly dated in terms of what I'm doing these days. I've been asked for a long time to make a new one showing what I'm doing these days. Specifically how I'm processing a single shot image for both the surface and prominences and how to process them together to show prominences and the surface at once. I've abandoned doing split images and composites and strictly work from one image using layers. Acquisition does not use gamma at all anymore. Nothing terribly fancy, but it's not exactly intuitive so hopefully this new video will illustrate most of the fundamentals to get you started. Instead of an hour, this time it's only 18 minutes. It's real time from start to finish. I'm sorry for the long "waiting periods" where I'm just waiting for the software to finish its routine, it lasts 1.5 minutes and 30 seconds tops typically at first. The first 4 minutes is literally just stacking & alignment in AS!3. I typically will go faster than this, but wanted to slow down enough to try to talk through what I'm doing as I do it. Hopefully you can see each action on the screen. I may have made a few mistakes or said a few incorrect things or terms, forgive me for that, this is not my day job. I really hope it helps folk get more into processing as its not difficult or intimidating when you see a simple process with only a few things that are used. The key is good data to begin with and a good exposure value. Today's data came from a 100mm F10 achromatic refractor and an ASI290MM camera with an HA filter. I used FireCapture to acquire the data with a defocused flat frame. No gamma is used. I target anywhere from 65% to 72% histogram fill. That's it! The processing is fast and simple. I have a few presets that I use, but they are all defaults in Photoshop. A lot of the numbers I use for parameters are based on image scale, so keep that in mind, experiment with your own values. The only preset I use that is not a default is my coloring scheme. I color with levels in Photoshop, and my values are Red: 1.6, Green 0.8, Blue 0.2 (these are mid-point values).
The video (18 minutes):
RAW (.TIF) files available here to practice on (the same images you will see below as RAW TIFs):
(Please let me know if any links do not work)
Results from today using this work flow method.
SSM data (sampled during 1.5~2 arc-second seeing conditions):
Equipment for today:
100mm F10 Frac (Omni XLT 120mm F8.3 masked to 4")
Baader Red CCD-IR Block Filter (ERF)
PST etalon + BF10mm
SSM (for fun, no automation)
Not many chances of Solar Imaging this year so far but caught this one.
AR2741 from the 12th late afternoon
152mm Technosky Refractor @ f5.9
135mm Baader D-ERF
Daystar Quark Chromosphere + Eliminator
5862 Frames, 4Ms 30 second capture @ 195Fps 1024 x 768 Mono16
Best 45% Frames stacked in AS!3, ImPPG then tweaked in PS
For sale is my Daystar Quark, Chromosphere version. It has had infrequent use and I can't justify keeping it. Works superbly with my ED80. It was purchased in July 2017 from Widescreen Centre so is still well within the 5 year warranty period. I am looking for £625 posted to a UK mainland address. Everything is complete in the box including instructions, USB cable and power adaptor. Payment by bank transfer please.
Last summer I spent a lot of time observing and imaging the sun with a WO Z61 and Quark Chromosphere. Recently I have acquired a WO Z103 and if the sun ever comes out I would like to use this refractor for imaging as well. Question I have is with the wider aperture of the Z103, is it safe to use with the Quark and is an energy rejection filter needed?
I previously read that it should be ok up to c100mm without an ERF but I cannot see any reference to this on now on the Daystar website.
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?