H-alpha Sun – August 27, 2016

Posted in ASTRO on August 28, 2016 by maxpho

Good activity these days on the Sun, despite lacking any great sunspot group or large prominence.

The following shots and animations were acquired under good seeing conditions on an imaging  session together with my wife not far from home.

The equipment: TS 115mm F/7 APO Refractor, Quark chromosphere H-alpha filter, Baader UV/IR cut filter, ASI 174MM camera.

First, a wide two-panel view showing the Sun’s western limb with a lot of activity:


Active region 2581 with some interesting detail:

ar2581 aug27.jpg

ar2581 aug27col.jpg

And two animations (a third much longer one is being processed) :

-the first one shows the prominences dancing over a 20 minute period:


-the second animation shows some changes inside AR2581 during a 10-minute period:

anim 1.gif


H-alpha Sun -August 26, 2016

Posted in ASTRO on August 27, 2016 by maxpho

A lovely prominence on the Sun today. The same from the previous post actually…

The prom has change a lot in appearance.

A short animation is also being processed.

For now, a panoramic view:

13 34 ut aug 26 col.jpg

13 34 ut aug 26 bw.jpg

And AR 2580 region:

AR2580 AUG 26.jpg




H-alpha images – August 25, 2016

Posted in ASTRO on August 25, 2016 by maxpho

A few shots from today, showing one very fast changing prominence and an interesting Active Region.

TS 115mm F/7 APO, Quark H-alpha chromosphere filter with UV/IR cut filter, ASI 174MM camera.

First, the 12 minute animation, acquired in changing seeing conditions:


And the non-moving shot:




H-alpha Sun – August 23, 2016

Posted in ASTRO on August 24, 2016 by maxpho

Again, some H-alpha shots. Mostly these were acquired as tests in an attempt to reduce the field uniformity due mostly to the camera used for the acquisition (at least I think this is the reason).

Equipment: TS 115mm F/7, Baader UV/IR cut filter, Quark Chromosphere, ASI 174MM camera.



16 14UT col.jpg

16 14UT.jpg

12 57ut.jpg



H-alpha Sun – August 22, 2016

Posted in ASTRO on August 22, 2016 by maxpho

Again, some activity on the Sun’s limb with a few large proms.

Equipment: TS 115mm F/7 APO Refractor, Quark Chromosphere H-alpha filter, Baader UV/IR cut filter, ASI 174MM camera. 700 out of 4000 frames. Seeing 5/10.

The colored version:


And grayscale:


UPDATE (August 23, 2016):

One more image pair showing the same region presented above but at a different angle:



And a small active region as seen from above:


And a three-frame animation showing soft evolution of the solar surface on a period of only 15 minutes:


H-alpha Sun – August 21, 2016

Posted in ASTRO on August 21, 2016 by maxpho

A lovely display today on the Sun, despite the poor seeing conditions. The H-alpha Quark filter is rapidly becoming my “most precious” piece of equipment and perhaps my most used one also…

I still have a lot to process from today’s results, but until I finish those results (around 80 Gb of data acquired from which only about 10% are usable I think), I’m posting one colored shot depicting the great activity at the solar limb:


The shot is a stack of 700 frames from 4000 under 4-5/10 seeing conditions. The acquisition setup : TS 115mm F/7 APO Refractor, Quark H-alpha filter, Baader UV/IR cut filter, ASI 174MM camera.

The great suspended plasma cloud is perhaps better distinguished in the following reprocessing:


 UPDATE (August 22, 2016):

Newly processed images:

13 48utCOLAug21.jpg

13 48utBWAug21.jpg

And another part of the solar limb:



First-light for the QUARK H-alpha filter

Posted in ASTRO on August 17, 2016 by maxpho

A new acquisition for me has just arrived: a specialized solar filter that allows humans to see the emission of hydrogen  at a wavelength of 656nanometers.

This H-alpha filter was a gift for my birthday from my wife, so the following shots are all dedicated to her. And of course a few imaging sessions whenever she requires them🙂

As I’m still a child when it comes to new acquisitions, I had to try it as soon as possible, despite preparing to go on a short holiday at the Black Sea.

With so much luggage, I had to restrain myself at packing only the most lightweight equipment: a small photo-tripod, a small 65mm APO refractor, the very small ASI 174MM camera and of course the Quark filter and a small 32mm eyepiece. The setup looked like this:


That red component is part of the filter, which is powered from a 10Amp phone charger (nicely “blended” with the rest of the gear🙂 ).

The first views at the eyepiece were fantastic, and much of that was due to the good seeing. Of course, the 65mm F/6.5 APO refractor was a bit too small for high magnifications, but the full-disc view was truly staggering.

And, since no equatorial mount was at hand, I had to shoot very short image-sequences to capture some detail in the prominences that were present on the solar limb. The first shot is a 400-frames stack out of 1000, and shows the chromosphere band and one rather large solar prominence occurring on August 16:


I did acquire many more image-sequences during my short holiday, but most of them were tests so no other final results are presented for now with the 65mm refractor. Despite this, I must say that the 65APO/QUARK combo is excellent for fast imaging sessions or when there is a limited space for astronomical equipment. It is also the best way for acquiring full-disc solar images, since the 4x barlow lens inside the Quark filter makes imaging the whole Sun quite hard for refractors with focal lengths of 800mm or more.

I say “800mm or more” because I was also able to try my other APO refractor (a 115mm, F/7) with the Quark filter. This happened after returning from the very short holiday,  and, unfortunately, on rather bad seeing conditions. Despite this, the large prominence (the same from the image above actually, but on a different date) made for a very nice view at the eyepiece, and of course on the laptop screen.

-the BW version:


-the colored version:


And a surface image, with two active regions and lots of hydrogen moving around:


The main goal for my next H-alpha sessions are a full-disc shot acquired with the 65mm refractor, and a long-period animation showing the evolution of a nice prominence.

Of course, both require time and good seeing…


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