Category : The Sun

April 2011 Sunspots

As we have been having some nice summery weather in April, it gives us a great chance to get out in the garden and do some solar imaging.

I have recently had a major equipment change, and sold my LX200 (sad to see you go) and I now have an NEQ6 Pro mount instead, with my trusty Skywatcher ED80 Pro onboard.

Luckily there seems to be a good selection of sunspots now appearing. I tried imaging with a newly purchased QHY5 camera which I intend to use as a guide camera, but I thought I would give it a go on the Sun. It’s ok but not a patch on the DMK21 camera. I was struggling to get 10fps out of the QHY5.

Solar Sunspot 24th April 2011This image was taken with the Mono DMK21 with a UV/IR filter and Baader Solar Continuum filter through the ED80 Pro and I used some cheap Baader Solar Filter paper which was taped to the inside of my scope plastic cover. Even though this solar paper has a scratch in it and a big fingerprint on it, it still manages to produce some great images, at about only 1 inch across. The exposure time is very low in order to get the detail. I then open it up in Photoshop and add some false colour.

My only problem at the moment is that the DMK21 has a lot of ‘dust bunnies’ in it, and I really need to take flats next time to get rid of them. As at the moment I have to get rid of them in Photoshop.

Partial Solar Eclipse Image on Stargazing Live

As my previous post mentioned I was amazed to see my partial solar eclipse included at the end of the BBC Look East TV News programme. Mainly because there were so many good images taken by those people who did not get clouded out.

I also sent my image in to the BBC Stargazing Live team, but without any hope of it being shown, as they too had shown some really good images over the 3 episodes.

But when Brian Cox showed just 3 partial solar eclipse images and one of them was mine I was totally amazed, and I even laughed and cheered out loud.

So luckily I was recording the programme, so I have edited that piece out and placed the clip of my partial lunar eclipse images from BBC Stargazing Live on YouTube for you all to watch:

Partial Solar Eclipse Image on Look East TV News

The day of the partial solar eclipse I emailed my photos to various TV channels and web sites. One of those was the local Look East News on BBC1. Most people you send images to do not reply and tell you it is included the programme so you have to just watch and record the programmes in the hope of your image appearing.

I thought it was going to be difficult this year to get my image on TV, as there were a lot of very good partial solar eclipse images taken with a lot of interesting backgrounds, whereas mine was just of the Sun itself.

But I was amazed to see that at the end of Look East they showed a number of images and my image of the partial solar eclipse was included.

So luckily I recorded it, edited it and put it the partial solar eclipse video on YouTube for you all to watch:

Partial Solar Eclipse Images

I was expecting this morning to be cloudy in Cambridgeshire today, but amazingly the skies started to clear at around 8.30am. I then just had to wait for the Sun to appear from behind the house that backs onto mine, as I was in my back bedroom with the window open taking the photos of the solar eclipse.

Partial Solar Eclipse 4th Jan 2010
I took these images with my Canon 550d with my 300mm lens on a tripod with a remote cable. I also used my homemade solar camera filter.

The images are not that great, but I did like the one that had cloud bands along it which looked a bit like Jupiter.

As the eclipse ended the cloud then came back and it was time to pack away.

Partial Solar Eclipse 4th Jan 2010

Sunspots on 10th October 2010

I managed to get out on the day of Sunday 10th October to try out a 2″ red type filter I received which looks homemade. It was supposed to be an H-Alpha Solar filter, but it did nothing visually.  So I thought I would try it whilst imaging with my Imaging Source DMK21 camera and see if, with a low enough exposure I could see some prominences, but alas no.

Getting out in the daytime also enabled me to try out my 2.5x Televue Powermate which I have just purchased. I added it onto my Skywatcher ED80 Pro, together with the Televue Powermate, Baader Solar Continuum filter and a simple homemade Baader Solar Film filter and my DMK21 camera I managed to get this image.

Solar Sunspot 10th October 2010

This has been recorded using the ICapture software provided by The Imaging Source and then processed in Registax 5 and then tweaked in Photoshop.

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