Staring @ the Sun, 86

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More Sun.

08/20/2021. The second set-up of the day, after being clouded out early, was more like it. Here's a four frame mosaic of prominences and a big filament. I've been standing out in the Sun too much lately, so I got these and came home quickly. The more compact sunshield around the camera seems to work well; watch the temperature of the chip, though, because air doesn't have as much room to circulate under there. On an 85F day, the chip got up to 109F and stabilized at 106F. That's about six Fahrenheit degrees above where it settled under the looser shield, and that may contribute a significant amount of noise. Cut away the shield where the Sun does not directly strike it?


filament and proms

4-frame mosaic, each the best 125 of 500 frames


Or, if you prefer one clip aggressively worked over, this is just that from several minutes later:

one frame

best 50 of 500 frames

Whence the subtle horizontal banding? Too few frames? I stacked only the best 50 for this photo trying to hold detail.


08/21/2021. Today we have an actual flare-producing sunspot rotating into view. The white stuff is a collar of B-class flares. From my Facebook briefing on this and similar images: flares are classed A, B, C, M, and X, so these aren't much as flares go but they're way more than nothing. Solar flares occur when magnetic fields on the Sun interact. Think of them as sparks on the battery that powers the solar system.



best 125 of 500 frames


B-class flares release, typically, 10^28 ergs. C, M, and X flares are each one order of magnitude stronger than the previous class (so a typical B flare is about 100x weaker than an M flare, etc). There's weak and there's weak: 10e28 ergs is about 250,000 megatons of TNT, so those white sparks represent something like 20,000 Castle Bravo detonations.




best 125 of 1,000 (700 microseconds each)





My deep-sky photos are made with a variety of sensors and optics. Deepest images come now from a ZWO ASI1600MM Cooled Pro CMOS camera, an ASIair (model 1) and sometimes one of several laptops. A good many images come from an unmodded Canon 6D but a lot more will be coming from an R6. Video and video extracts begin in a Canon EOS M, usually running in crop mode via Magic Lantern firmware (but the 6D and especially the R6 will probably see more use). Telescopes include an AT10RC, an Orion 10" F4 Newtonian, and a pair of apochromats: a TMB92SS and a AT65EDQ. A very early Astro-Physics 5" F6 gets some use, too. So do lots of camera lenses on both the ASI1600 and on the Canons. A solar Frankenscope made using a 90mm F10 Orion achromat and the etalon, relay optics, and focuser from a Lunt 60 feeding a small ZWO camera will see more action as the Sun comes back to life (Autostakkart!3 is my current fav for image stacking). Mounts include an iOpton SkyTracker (original model), a bargain LXD-55, a Losmandy G11 (492 Digital Drive), and an Astro-Physics Mach1. PixInsight does most of the heavy lifting; Photoshop polishes. Some of the toys are more or less permanently based in New Mexico. I desperately hope to get back soon.


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                   © 2021, David Cortner