Tag : ed80-pro

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.

Solar Sunspots and Granulation

I managed to do a bit of imaging today as the Sun was out all day. I went and purchased a sheet of A4 Baader Solar Filter paper from Green Witch the other day, they were the cheapest place I could find, plus I got my SPA discount as well. It also gave me my first chance to visit them in Dry Drayton.

Anyway, I produced a couple of solar filters for my LX200 and my ED80 Pro from the paper sheet so was dying to try them out (which was a nightmare trying to cut, as I couldn’t stop my fingers leaving fingerprints on the paper, plus you need to remember to remove a really thin piece of plastic that is attached to the filter paper).

Both worked really well, I have also just purchased a 2nd hand DMK21 camera, which is so much better than my SPC900 webcam, which I about to sell. So imaging with this was fun as the more practice I get on the DMK21 the better. I also used my Baader Solar Continuum filter which I have had for ages but never really got to use as I did not think that the SPC900 gave enough brightness of the object to use a dark green filter, but the DMK21 handles it with ease as you have a lot more control over your gain, exposure and gamma settings.

The great thing was that I was able to record granulation on my images, something I could never do with the SPC900 webcam, maybe it’s the Baader Solar Filter paper that made it possible, but I think it was really the DMK21 camera.

I processed them all in Registax 5 and then added some false colour in Fireworks. The distant image was taken with a Skywatcher ED80 Pro and the close-up shots with my 10″ LX200.

Sunspots via Skywatcher ED80 Pro

Sunspots via DMK21 and 10" LX200

Sunspots on 3rd June 2010 using 10" LX200