Solar observing and photography @ LRO with Daystar Quark Hydrogen & Calcium Alpha filters on Skywatcher Equinox Pro 80mm

Damian and I used the opportunity of a (mostly) clear (although annoyed bits of cloud that covered sun) to observe and photograph the sun today. We used my Skywatcher Equinox Pro 80mm telescope on Manfrotto tripod with Daystar Quark hydrogen and calcium filters.

In hydrogen alpha, we could not see any sunspots – however with the calcium we could see one white spot that corresponded to a filament on the solar disc seen on professional images taken today.

The hydrogen alpha image also showed a prominence at 3 o’clock on solar disc and another prominence at 10 o’clock position – C shape, largely detached, not as bright. Excellent granulation and Newton rings evident.

The calcium Quark did not show the prominences.

Solar seeing quite poor.

Images below are taken with Bresser MikrOkular camera – they do not show any particular detail – probably my awful technique but the poor seeing might be part of the problem too.




Video of solar limb (Bresser MikrOkular camera):

Image from video:

Stacked image from video:


3 Responses

  1. Andy,
    I always do 2 exposures – 1 to get surface detail and 1 to get prominences – and then combine them in GIMP. I believe that’s how the GONG images are done, too.

      1. There also seems to be a knack to it to get prominences with the Mikrokular. I use “Sharpcap” set to do a 200-frame avi. and normally set the exposure to “auto”. I then let the sun drift out of the frame. As it does that, the gain ramps up and shows the prominences. When I get an exposure I like, I press the “auto” button to switch “auto” off, and that freezes the gain at whatever it had got to. I then re-frame the image and turn on the tracking drive. You can usually go back to “auto” for the surface detail.
        Hope that helps.

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