Got up in time for the Sun to rise above the neighbour’s trees and set up. Not a cloud in sight so I wasn’t rushing to try and acquire images between breaks in the cloud.
I started by setting up my Astro Hutech Hinode solar autoguider. I had attempted this before without success – rushing too much, but this morning, I let it find the Sun and get itself centred (high pitched whine) then let it calibrate the mount. After that it was easy just to offset it to my target in the scope by pressing and holding “Find” then “Guide” to let it command the mount. I had to increase the “aggressiveness” level to 3 to get smoother guiding and I noticed that it took a few seconds to settle down each time but after that it was flawless and held position, even with a high magnification x2.5 PowerMate installed.
I started with white light and then calcium K. I tried to get enough panels to do full disc mosaics and although they looked okay to me, Microsoft ICE and Photoshop didnt seem to like them that much. Not sure what to do about mosaics – its more fun for me to do the high magnification sunspots but full disc images are nice too. I guess the options are to attach a DSLR to the Baader Herschel wedge via the 2 inch T piece which should image the Sun in 1 go or else switch to a smaller wider FoV scope like my William Optics 420/71mm Zenithstar. Perhaps I just need a more organised system to do mosaics!
My overall plan was to improve my standard of WL and CaK imaging until I felt I was ready for Ha. Im happy now with my high magnification in WL but need some work on CaK – I also need to sort out mosaic imaging.
Click on images to enlarge
AR 2158 – the source of the recent aurora in white light.
1000/102mm refractor, TeleVue PowerMate x 2.5 Barlow, Baader photographic Herschel Wedge, Baader UV/IR cut filter, Skyris 274m CCD camera, Astro Hutech solar guider, Ioptron ZEQ25GT mount.
AR 2158 – the source of the recent aurora in Calcium K narrowband imaging (UV light).
1000/102mm refractor, TeleVue PowerMate x 2.5 Barlow, Lunt B1200 CaK module, Baader K line filter, Skyris 274m CCD camera, Astro Hutech solar guider, Ioptron ZEQ25GT mount.
Part of a single panel showing the main sunspots today.