Solar imaging – ASI178MM-cooled + Daystar Quark

Recently I had clear skies with which to test out the ASI178MM-cooled imager with my Daystar Quark to do some H-alpha imaging. As this is my first mono camera, I had alot to learn from this first run. It was great that there was a nice Sunspot AR2489 for me to focus on and take images of.

Equipment used for capture: iOptron ZEQ25 mount, Skywatcher ED80 refractor, Daystar Quark (Chromosphere model), ZWO ASI178MM-cooled imager, Baader 2″ UV/IR cut filter, Revelation 80mm extension tube, Orion 2″ self-centering adapter, Microsoft Surface Pro 3 with Sharpcap software. 

ASI178MM-cooled with Daystar Quark
ASI178MM-cooled with Daystar Quark

Video files were taken in .avi format, processed with PIPP, AutoStakkert 2, Registax 6 and then converted to .jpeg file with Capture One Pro 8.

One major issue I had was with prominent Newton rings due to the camera not being at 90 degrees to the H-alpha filter. I did take a flat frame video to try and correct for this but it did not work out. I will have to try different approached to reduce this in future.

Sunspot AR2489 - note the prominent Newton rings
Sunspot AR2489 – note the prominent Newton rings
Sunspot AR2489
Sunspot AR2489 – Newton rings less prominent
Sunspot AR2489
Sunspot AR2489
Some other surface features
Some other surface features – filaments

The great feature of the iOptron ZEQ25 was that I could slew about the sun with ease to try and find interesting features to capture. Hence I managed to find two prominences which are show below – one of them looks like a tree. In fact, I had to stop imaging and do some visual observation of the sun at this point, as there was just so much to see on the sun, unlike with white-light solar.

Prominence
Prominence
Tree-like prominence
Tree-like prominence

I have left these images in black and white, as two things I need to sort out are: get rid of the Newton rings and learn to colorize the solar images. But I am pleased with my first outing with the ASI178MM-cooled for solar imaging, although it would be great to be able to capture more of the sun – perhaps I need to try imaging the sun with my 1.25″ 0.5x focal reducer next time. Clear skies.

Boon