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Stu

White light solar - 12th May 2019

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It's a lovely day, well worth getting out there if you have a solar scope. I've not had a chance so far to observe the two active regions currently on show, so it's great that today is clear! They are nicely visible in white light, one of them quite large and showing plenty of detail. These pictures don't show anything like the visual view which is pretty stunning when the seeing settles; it's very variable today but has good moments.

The larger AR has a lovely bright light bridge across the umbra, and there is beautiful petal like structure in the penumbra, plus also plenty to see in the umbra itself. The granulation is coming and going, but when the seeing steadies there is lovely detail visible in it too, tiny pores in amongst knots and swirls.

The smaller AR is less dramatic, but there is a lovely loop of small spots arcing away from it.

I'm using my normal setup,  4" scope with Herschel Wedge and binoviewers at about x200. The first two are as I see them with a green continuum filter, then converted to B&W, finally my setup today. I use a fairly bizarre combination of binoviewers with 25mm Orthos, a x1.7 GPC plus an AP Barcon with extension tubes to get up to high power. It's strange, but the results are excellent.

Finally, I've just fitted some knobs to replace the Allen bolts holding the mount head to the pillar. This will make swapping the head onto a tripod easier. I did buy some plastic spacers too but they actually didn't work so I replaced them with nuts wound all the way up against the bottom of the knob and they work very well indeed. Very pleased with them.

Enjoy if you are out there.

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Great report and images Stu.

I've been observing that lot myself with the ED120 and Lunt HW. Super detail within the larger spot as you say.

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Fab report and images, Stu :) Have had a little post lunch session. It’s noticeable how much both spots have moved since yesterday. The smaller spot which is like a trail of small spots seems to be fading. I guess this may just down to its position on the disc. 

The kids all came over for a look. Here’s my eldest at the eyepiece. Note the Harry Potter “observing hood” ;) 

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Great shot Neil, your setup looks really good. Nice to have the children interested too.

I used my black observing hood which really helps to cut the glare out and allows me to see the detail better. I noticed that my floaters were visible even using binoviewers but I guess I was at fairly high power.

The smaller AR is still interesting isn't it? A nice chain of smaller spots arcing around the larger one.

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Posted (edited)

After a few months of deliberations and acquiring kit, it’s really nice to be using it. I’ve only managed one short session on the moon so far. Everything else has been white light solar. 

I have to admit, having seen all the Ha images, I was expecting to be a bit underwhelmed by white light. It’s massively exceeded my expectations. The ARs are fascinating. They way they develop over the course of days even hours. The Herschel wedge has already paid for itself in terms of enjoyment. 

I’m definitely noticing floaters more with white light. Not sure if that’s due to the brighter light or perhaps the small exit pupil from being at higher powers. I’ve also used my black observing hood which really makes a difference to what I can see too. 

Edited by Littleguy80
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What camera/projection set up did you use for the images @Stu?

Very nice observations!

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22 minutes ago, Littleguy80 said:

After a few months of deliberations and acquiring kit, it’s really nice to be using it. I’ve only managed one short session on the moon so far. Everything else has been white light solar. 

I have to admit, having seen all the Ha images, I was expecting to be a bit underwhelmed by white light. It’s massively exceeded my expectations. The ARs are fascinating. They way they develop over the course of days even hours. The Herschel wedge has already paid for itself in terms of enjoyment. 

I’m definitely noticing floaters more with white light. Not sure if that’s due to the brighter light or perhaps the small exit pupil from being at higher powers. I’ve also used my black observing hood which really makes a difference to what I can see too. 

I'm sure you will get alot of use out of your new setup, really quick and easy to put out so you can take advantage of even a 15 minute opportunity.

I love white light solar, if anything more than Ha. The contrast and detail available can be quite jaw dropping at times, and as you say you can see changes over relatively short periods. It's not as dynamic as Ha admittedly but I do really enjoy it.

Floaters are a pain! It's basically an exit pupil issue from the scope, plus the brightness constricting your actual pupil right down too. Binoviewers help, as does a bit more aperture I guess but I think you do get some great performance out of scopes between 80 and 120mm. Easy to use and less affected by poorer seeing.

It has clouded over a bit now and anyway I'm now down at my parents without kit, but watching the GP with my boy so not all bad. Glad I took the opportunity this morning.

Enjoy!

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12 minutes ago, JeremyS said:

What camera/projection set up did you use for the images @Stu?

Very nice observations!

Thanks Jeremy. Those were just smartphone images taken handheld at one eyepiece of the binoviewers. I'm sure I could get some cracking shots using a proper camera taking video and stacking, might give it a go at some point. I just prefer to be observing and the smartphone is very quick to do.

One thing I did work out some time ago is that if you wear glasses then focus with these on before taking a phone shot and your image should be sharp(er!)

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Very nice report and photos Stu. I have been out most of the day observing and it’s the best seeing conditions I have had this year. Even managed to get good views of the granulation.

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I had been observing for a while before I took a break and read your post Stu and that prompted me to dust off the Maxbrights and grab a, pair of 24mm Orthos. 

What a revelation, its so long since I've spent any time on WL that I'd forgotten how much more detail the BVs reveal in WL. 

The detail in the larger spot was stunning in moments of good seeing as you've already said. I think I might have even had a fleeting glimpse of true granulation too rather than the suggestion of macro-granulation that I normally see. 

A thoroughly enjoyable afternoon and early evening. 

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A while light whole disk shot, using a handheld mobile phone and my AR80S with Baader film filter. AR2741 showing nicely.

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I had a new SW Esprit 100ED delivered on Tuesday and I've already knocked up a solar filter for it. Looking forward to trying some imaging as what I'm seeing through it looks so much better than my old telescope.

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1 hour ago, Mikey07 said:

I had a new SW Esprit 100ED delivered on Tuesday and I've already knocked up a solar filter for it. Looking forward to trying some imaging as what I'm seeing through it looks so much better than my old telescope.

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Hope I'm not teaching you to suck eggs, but do make sure the filter is securely attached and can't blow off in the wind. 

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1 hour ago, wheresthetorch? said:

Hope I'm not teaching you to suck eggs, but do make sure the filter is securely attached and can't blow off in the wind. 

No problem. It's a pretty tight fit and I'm confident it aint going anywhere!

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