# FeaturedStargazing Solar imaging and techniques

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1. Oct 22, 2017

### NFuller

That's right. There is not a camera which can really do both well. I use the ASI for planetary imaging and an ATIK 414EX M for deep sky imaging.
I would suggest that you look for a high frame rate camera with on-board cooling. You really will want the cooler when imaging DSOs using a CMOS type imaging chip. CMOS chips are very noisy and the noise can easily start to overwhelm the faint signal from a DSO.

Here are some of my suggestions although you may find them too pricey...
https://optcorp.com/collections/cameras/products/zwo-asi290mm-cooled-color-astronomy-camera-usb-3-0
https://optcorp.com/collections/cameras/products/atik-titan-monochrome-ccd-camera

2. Oct 22, 2017

### davenn

Thanks for responding :)

Probably not, but hopefully there may be a good compromise, something that is slightly better at DS but still OK for the sun ....
I have never really had the urge for imaging the planets, DS has always been my "love" till recently when I got my first solar scope

yeah which is why I always prefer the CCD sensors, but there are a number of very low noise CMOS sensors out there out there
The ZWO ASI178MC falls into that category ... 6.4 MP sensor, 2.2e read noise

on their own, no, but after having spent $3k on a stand alone solar scope and another$2k this week on another chromosphere filter
funds at the moment for a top line camera are out of range $500 +-$50 is about the limit which that ZWO ASI178 falls into at $529 Time to talk to the experts at the shop where I get my stuff. They are all active astronomers, so I feel safe with their final recommendations Dave 3. Oct 22, 2017 ### davenn well after "talking turkey" with the guy in the shop, I have decided to go with the one above probably will see it tomorrow and be able to try it out Crap this hobby can get expensive !! haha AU$5500 in the last month

Dave

4. Oct 22, 2017

### NFuller

Great! I hope it works out.
Well, most hobbies worth doing end up that way

5. Oct 29, 2017

### sophiecentaur

You will just need to spend lots of time using it in order to justify the cost.

6. Nov 14, 2017

### davenn

hi guys and gals

OK finally starting to figure out how to use all this new software and hardware for viewing and imaging the sun
finally a first decent image of a prominence today 2017/11/14
gear - Lunt LS60THa solar telescope, ZWO178MC camera and SharpCap software

trying to image in daytime is a real challenge ... dealing with daytime glare on a laptop screen
this is a single image capture

Dave

7. Nov 14, 2017

### davenn

just a quick pic of the setup, the laptop inside cardboard box for some shielding of the screen from the sunlightI needed to stick my head into the box up close to the screen to stop the sunlight reflections off me getting onto the screen ....

8. Nov 14, 2017

### sophiecentaur

Lovely image, Dave.
The hi-tek box and wheelie bin are very impressive too.

9. Nov 14, 2017

### davenn

"necessity is the mother of invention" .... so I am told

it was suggested elsewhere that ....
1) I paint the inside of the box matt black and
2) I use a dark cloth shroud over the box and my head to further darked things .... think of photographers of old

Dave

10. Nov 14, 2017

### sophiecentaur

You could buy a 'toilet tent' as a form of observatory and work the whole think from inside. The scope could poke through a flap. If you cut the bottom off the fabric, you would get good air circulation. These things are available in UK for very low prices so they should be cheap anywhere in the world and you wouldn't need guy it.
PS Don't expect sympathy from a heavily autumnal UK, for having a lot of Sun.

11. Nov 20, 2017

### davenn

Solar activity -- 20 Nov. 2017

a quick shot of the prominence and long winding filament on today's sun
gear - Lunt LS60THa solar telescope, ZWO178MC camera and SharpCap software

this is just a single frame

Dave

12. Nov 20, 2017

### sophiecentaur

Smashing picture Dave.
Your cost per recorded pixel is dropping fast!

13. Nov 20, 2017

### davenn

thanks buddy

ahhh yes it is

one of the next steps is to figure out using the software to load in a short .avi video file
and it extracts the individual frames and stacks them. When I get to do this, we should see a big
improvement in image quality

At this time just getting used to using the scope, astro camera and software to capture single images

today's image isn't as sharp as the last one, by the time I got home from work today ~ 5pm, the sun
was getting low in the west and the light coming through much more atmosphere causing the usual instability

Dave

14. Nov 20, 2017

### sophiecentaur

I have read that good stacking software will select the best and reject the worst in a video sequence. That IS clever!!

15. Nov 22, 2017

### davenn

The Sun, 22/11/2017, about the best image so far

Reasonably good seeing conditions today

Dave

16. Nov 22, 2017

### Stavros Kiri

Still pretty good and interesting. The previous one was kind of too bright I think. Is that the normal?

17. Nov 22, 2017

### davenn

the centre is always going to be brighter than around the limb.
it's tricky .... bringing up the brightness so the prominences can be seen well and the face is way too bright
lower the brightness so the face is well exposed and the limb prominences fade away
this image is a trade off between the 2 extremes

18. Nov 22, 2017

### Stavros Kiri

What's the best time of the day (regular normal day/conditions) to naturally fall in between, if possible?

19. Nov 22, 2017

### davenn

when the object of interest is high in the sky ... sun moon, planets, deep space object

that is when you are viewing/imaging through the least amount of atmosphere, the lower you go towards the horizon, the thicker the layer of
atmosphere you are viewing through and hence more instability

the image in post #71 was late in afternoon, around 5:30 - 6pm and the sun was getting pretty low
hence the quality was not good.
Today's image was at 430pm still getting a bit low but not as bad, so the stability was much better

Dave

20. Nov 22, 2017

### Stavros Kiri

Thanks Dave. What you say makes sense.