I had another run of clear skies so I decided to keep the scope out for another round of observing/imaging with the Coronado PST.With the skies a little cleaner than the day before,I wanted to see if yesterdays successful imaging was a fluke or whether I had actually jumped the learning curve fence.I began the solar session by just observing the sun rather than jumping head first and getting frustrated if imaging didn’t go so well.I could easily see granulation and the obvious areas of intense activity.A couple features that stood out were of filaments and a plage that can be seen surrounding sunspot #1057 in my images.A plage is the white are seen commonly surrounding sunspots especially when using a h-alpha filter.Although I have actually seen them in regular white light filters as well.
My observing/imaging session started pretty well until I decided to try for pix.One of my big worries was the fact that I couldn’t get the (or so I thought) exposure times fast enough.After a hour of frustration I took a break and sat back to study the problem in my head.2 cups of coffee later I tweaked the imaging programs default settings and low and behold I was able to get a perfectly exposed image on the live view.I was astounded at the detail I could see and immediately started the program to take images with the LPI before I regained my sanity.All was going well and the result I was getting on my monitor was incredible….all was good or so I thought.Ummmm…..not so fast…something isn’t right when I downloaded the images to my flash card.The shots didn’t look very good as they were very pixelated and lacked detail.This was a glitch I didn’t want and again frustration set in.Getting ready to call it a day I decided to take one more look into the problem and surprise surprise….it dawned on me that I was using the imaging format for the job.After setting the format from Jpeg to BMP I tried again and….holy crap they came came out great!!!…WOOHOO !!!!!!!!! 😀 I proceeded to take as many pix as I could before the sun set behind a mountain.
I also wrote down my formula for taking images with the PST in my astronomy journal so I wouldn’t have such a tough time in the future.
Image credits; Andrew
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and a blacked out version to enhance the prominences….
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