Solar imaging 19/10/14

I read recently about the sunspot named AR2192, which is supposed to have unleashed an X-class (large) solar flare recently. Unfortunately the skies have been cloudy all of last week, and hence there has not been an opportunity to image the sun. With forecast for clear skies on Sunday, I was hoping to finally have a chance to image AR2192.

This was particularly exciting, as my Baader adapter no. 27 which allows for direct coupling of digital cameras to the Baader Herschel Prism had arrived earlier in the week. This will allow for enough back focus for me to use my Micro 4/3rds cameras directly mounted to the Herschel prism; previously I needed my Celestron Ultima Barlow in order to extend the back focus enough to image with the Baader Herschel Prism.

These are the best images I’ve managed to get from my sessions, which was interrupted on many occasions by clouds. I’ve found the best setting for Baader Solar Continuum double stack, is at ISO 100 1/8000 with the E-P5. With the Baader U, I have to use ISO 200 1/4000 as that is the ‘darkest’ possible exposure I can get of the sun with my E-PL5. I used the Skywatcher ED80 mounted on the Astrotrac TT320X in solar guiding mode.

Sun - double stacked Baader Solar continuum
Sun – double stacked Baader Solar continuum
Sun - double stacked Baader Solar continuum
Sun – double stacked Baader Solar continuum
Sun - UV (Baader U)
Sun – UV (Baader U)
Sun - UV (Baader U)
Sun – UV (Baader U)

The largest sunspot is AR2192 and the smaller sunspot is AR2187. AR2186 is tucked away in the top right corner in the UV images, while they are to the right in the Solar continuum images.

Without the barlow, this system is certainly capable of capturing good amount of detail of the sun. I can’t wait to borrow my friend’s Skywatcher ED100, with focal length of 900mm (1800mm on Micro 4/3rds) which is 50% longer than my ED80. That should allow me to fill more of the sensor with the sun, and hopefully capture more detail of the sun spots.

The next level of solar imaging to consider would be H-alpha imaging of the sun’s chromosphere. Will need to save up for the Daystar Quark Filter though.

Boon