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Novice Challenge

Solar Details: Sunday 24th April 2022


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Forecast a sunny start... blighted with thin cloud, gusts of wind and not the best seeing... but wanted to have a crack at the huge active region I've been following on GONG, here and SolarChat... since it appeared over the horizon last week!

Received an AiryLab SSM to help me judge the seeing conditions since my last solar imaging run (I can't use it to trigger the Mac software at the moment... whilst Firecapture does run on Mac, it doesn't support the camera!) So I have it hooked up to Paul De Backer's OS X Solar Monitor software


Loads of data to go through, wanted to test a few things out.... trying to subdue an internal reflection (when imaging proms), reducing Newton Rings, Changing the gamma at capture... Camera/Quark connection, etc.... I also have a heat sink inbound for the camera coming from Basler for the next time out and I've added a sunshield to keep the camera in the shade....

Basler '174' > Quark Chromo > TEC140 > Baader D-ERF.  Used the wife's Windows laptop to run AS!3, then back onto the Mac for ImPPG (running in WINE) sharpening and then into good ole Photoshop.

Captured in Basler's own Pylon software on Mac.

BIAS and Flat frame (bag) calibrated. Guided by an Hinode Solar Guider.

Ran the TEC140 at a reduced 125mm f/7.8 and with the Quark's 4.3x internal telecentric, that presents f/33.7 at the etalon - Rupert/Astrograph suggests that may eek out an extra 0.1A from my Q.... so a bit more contrast, plus I've tried some different capture and processing techniques after reading (still going through) the newish Solar Astronomy book published by Axilone.

Clear skies,


As usual (for reference), the closest (by UT/GMT time) GONG image.



…and sunspot identification from the SOHO website:



AR2993 / 2994, 8.57 BST, Best 500 / 3000
Mono12P - 12000ms - Average Seeing 1.58 arc-seconds approx over 30 seconds

Full size jpeg attached - do the double-click


Edited by TakMan
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That’s worth noting Freddie - thanks for the constructive feedback - this image is darker than my usual posting, so I’ll revisit and perhaps post another….

Me trying too much to replicate a more expensive 0.3A Solar Spectrum!

Clear skies…


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After Freddie's input yesterday, I've had a second go - same data...

This is more like my usual solar processing... not as 'dramatic' as my first attempt, but there is definitely more detail within the core region of the sunspots... perhaps there is a happy medium between the two (which I'm yet to find!)



Edited by TakMan
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Looking good. Now layer the old image onto the new image and erase the umbra region to reveal the new detail and you have a winner. The other approach would be to pin the histo curve at the lower end when making adjustments to preserve the dark details in the umbra. Hope that helps.

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On 26/04/2022 at 22:58, Freddie said:

Looking good.


On 26/04/2022 at 23:49, Sunshine said:

Amazing work!

On 27/04/2022 at 21:52, Pete Presland said:

I think the 2nd image is a much better image all round

Thanks all 😀

Here is the same feature, just a bit later...


AR2993 / 2994, 10.27 BST, Best 400 / 3000
Mono12P - 10000ms

Full size jpeg attached - do the double-click


As I'd be interested to see what others could manage with the same data, attached is the untouched file out of AS!3. All I've done is kill the dead space on the histogram.

15 as 14_lapl3_ap6281.tif

Plus a 300 and 500 stack (not touched the histogram). Please feel free to have a play and post back... would love to get some pointers - I'd really like to know how folks get their shots so 'smooth' (Freddie!) ??

300 frames:

15 as 14_lapl3_ap6281.tif

500 frames:

15 as 14_lapl3_ap6281.tif


If you'd prefer a stack of 200 or 600, pm me!



Edited by TakMan
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