Astrophotography – solar (Sun)

Solar observing in Streethay

Whilst the sun shone in Windsor for the royal wedding, it also shone here in Lichfield! Damian and I set up our telescopes with Daystar Quack (sorry meant to say QUARK – I think it was the automatic text correction on my Samsung!) Hydrogen Filters to capture three magnificent prominence on the edge of the solar disc – at approx 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock and 9 o’clock on the disc (location not time viewing feld of view as clock face) in our scopes with diagonals.

I used my Sky Watcher 80mm Equinox Pro and 8-24  zoom eyepiece on Manfrotto tripod. Damian used his Takahashi with 40mm, 32mm or 25mm Televue Plossls on Nova Hitch mount. The Tak has longer focal length than the Sky Watcher so it was appropriate to use longer focal length eyepieces.

Andy & Damian

The photos below were taken at approx. 14:50 (time BST) today through my Sky Watcher 80mm Equinox Pro on Manfrotto mount with my Samsung S7 smartphone camera hand held to eyepiece.

Prominence at ca. 3 o’clock on clock face of field of view:


Prominence at 6 o’clock:

Prominence at 9 o’clock:

The following is taken using Samsung through Damian’s Takahashi on Novohitch mount at 15:34. It shows evolution of the 9 o’clock prominence:

The following shows evolution of the 3 o’clock prominence so that it shows three rather than previous two projections up from solar surface. Also through Damian scope:

And the next picture a solar filament on the solar surface – although it is faint and difficult to pick out, again in the Takahashi:

Part of the solar disc seen through Quark Calcium-H filter in the Takahashi – not much detail but difficult to judge because these are apparently good with sun spots but we don’t have any to look at today!

The following image taken with Samsung S7 phone through my 80mm Equinox at 16:20 with 8mm eyepiece on Quark of the 9 o’clock prominence when seeing deteriorated for a while. First version is without processing and second some processing to bring out contrast using curves:

The next images were taken about 16:25 of the 2 o’clock prominence. Damian thought it had 4 projections now – the camera in both cases has only just caught the fourth faint one between one on right and two on left – just goes to show that the human eye can integrate over time and sometimes pick up detail that cameras might find difficult to see. Later, Damian took a hand held photo within his iPhone when seeing picked up and it did indeed show four projections!

Through 80mm Equinox when seeing improved – four projections now visible:

Through Takahashi:

Back to the Takahashi again but now using 25mm eyepiece to show more detail on the 9 o’clock prominence:

A great afternoon’s observing!

Sun today – – – 19/05/2018

Air a bit steadier and the sky clearer today, so the images are better. Since yesterday, the filament has developed and some prominences have appeared on the advancing limb. If you want to compare this with Andy and Damian’s images later today, don’t forget I have flipped and rotated these to match those from GONG and SOHO.

GONG images Copyright: GONG/NSO/AURA/NS


Observing 13-15/05/2018. Jupiter

So, Sunday night was beautiful, air was steady, and it was warm. Jupiter’s Great Red Spot was transiting at a convenient time.

Perfect. What could possibly go wrong?

Just about everything, in fact.

I suffered so many “Andy moments” – tripping over cables, tripod, dropping eyepieces into long grass etc etc, that I think that from now on these events should be known as “Roger moments”! Gave up in disgust at around 2AM.

Tried again last night. Much better. That is until the clouds rolled in! However before that happened I got the images of Jupiter below. No red spot, but some nice belt features.

Also manged a couple of DSOs, and will post these when I have processed them.

Solargraphs, from Summer>Winter 2017

Just started to refurbish last years units ready for the coming solstice… soon comes around, hey!

Hope to have some ready for purchase at the next RAG (month end) meeting….

Now I don’t have a scanner (via work!), I popped in to see Andy last evening to get the outstanding ones scanned and so sorted.

Good fun to try different process techniques (I use Photoshop, but as Andy showed earlier using GIMP (free), it’s very much ‘Science – meets – Art’ !


So Andy’s – 2 versions…


My father in laws (from Barton Under Needwood)…


and lastly my sister’s (also from Barton Under Needwood – she has just moved, so her next will be a different view)…