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Sun shots 21 and 22 April 2018

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Firstly I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who posts on this forum. 

I restarted this hobby in November 2017 aged 49 having last viewed the stars as a kid using a pair of brass binoculars. Having joined SGL I have been an avid reader lurking in the background picking up tips, tricks, ideas and methods and so this is what I would call my first serious post.

Stargazing has been bit hit an miss since i purchased my Celestron Nexstar 6SE. In fact I joke that when I bought it the skies clouded over! Not to be deterred, I read that it is possible to view the sun through a telescope and despite all the warnings I thought I would give it a go. First up was my homemade Solar Filter which I made using the guidance notes from the Sky at Night Magazine. It was made using Baader AstroSolar Safety Film ND5 purchased from the good guys at FLO along with black A4 160 gsm card purchased via Amazon and a whole load of single and double sided sticky tape.

Cutting the card into 5cm strips and sticking them together to form one long strip allowed me to wrap the card around the circumference of the scope three times to create a solid ring. I then cut the safety film to size and then offered this up to the ring sticking down the overlapping film to the outside of the ring careful not to touch the film itself. A second ring made of similar card strips stuck together was then applied to cover the overlapping film.

A picture of the filter on my 6SE is below and as you can see it was necessary to cut out a 'notch' to accommodate the vixen mounting bar. 160gsm card is pretty tough stuff, especially when wrapped around six times so a pair of wire cutters did the trick. I later added two elastic bands around the ring to ensure that it remained securely on the scope.



Both Saturday and Sunday (21 and 22 April) were very bright days and at 12.50pm I took the first image using my Nikon D90 mounted directly to my 6SE. A Celestron F6.3 focus reducer sat between the scope and T-mount/D90. This is single image at ISO 200 with the shutter set at 1/160th sec. Sun spots are clearly visible at the 10 o'clock position.

Sun 20180421.jpg


The following day I used the same set up at 11:46 am but used the LO 1 ISO setting with the shutter set at 1/500th sec. Again sun spots are visible but have moved lower.

Sun 20180422.jpg

The two single images were 'processed' using Photoshop Elements 2018. To be honest I tweaked a view knobs and moved a few slides to come up with what I have submitted today. Processing is a bit of a dark art and so the 'Dummies Guide to...' is sitting next to me as I type.

I hope you enjoy reading this post and viewing the images and I would really welcome your honest feedback. It's not the Horse head nebula but from small acorns.......







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Those are excellent first Solar Images!  Welcome to the light side!!

To help:  Get the ISO as low as you can and try a shutter speed of 1/2000 sec (or nearest - if in doubt shorter - the Sun is very bright even through a Baader film!).  Then try taking a few dozen pictures and stacking them - you will be surprised at the result you will get.

Have a look here to help you get started: Solar imaging tutorial  and keep up the good work!

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A good start to your solar journey.

They look slightly over exposed, so as above try and reduce settings a bit to reduce exposure. I am not familiar with your cam but if it can take an AVI then that would be a good way to go to capture a few hundred images and then stack them in AS!3 and use ImPPG to sharpen.

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That's a very nice first image.  Well done.  I like the distribution of light better in the second one.  Welcome to the "Light Side"... you'll never be sorry.:icon_biggrin:

I hope you won't be offended, but I took your image and tweaked it a bit in IMPPG before throwing some color on.  I see some indication of surface granularity which is an indication that you had the focus pretty darn close.  I threw a magnified view of AR2706 from your image just for fun.

You did a good job.  The folks here will help with any questions... just ask.

Clear Skies


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  • 1 month later...

Here is my second attempt. Photo taken today with the same gear. ISO Lo-1 and shutter speed 1/2500s. This is a single frame image then processed using Photoshop and Bizibilder's processing notes. Still to get my head around stacking....not having much success I'm afraid.



Sun 12500s LO-1iso 20180526 15h58m07s Text.jpg

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Still finding my way with different equipment.

Here is 2712 again as of this morning. This time taken with my ZWO ASI 178MC rather than my Nikon D90 (first time out with the ZWO). Image stacked from an original 1,000 frames using Registax 5 and then run through Photoshop.

Looking at it I feel I have gone too hard with the wavelets after stacking. Also it is heavily cropped to remove errors as no flat field was taken.

Sol 28 May 2018 00 20 BST Text.jpg

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