# FeaturedStargazing Solar imaging and techniques

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1. Jan 1, 2018

### sophiecentaur

Unsharp mask does the biz for most pictures. It's basically a sharpening process (high pass / boost) with a threshold, below which it doesn't operate. So it enhances transitions but you can hold back for low level patterns / noise. The 'radius' button adjusts the range over which you do the enhancing. You always have to check the whole picture or a sharp edge can have a black / white border.
You really have to try it. It does a lot for craters and highlights in eyes.

2. Jan 4, 2018

### davenn

well, it's been a productive summer holiday in a number of ways.
Got a few things done around the place that had been outstanding for a while. One of them was to finally put my HEQ5 PRO GOTO
telescope mount to use ... it's only taken one and a half years
Below a couple of images of the mount with the Lunt LS60 THA solar scope mounted to it

Dave

Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
3. Jan 5, 2018

### davenn

A couple of images from today 05 Jan 2018

one very large prominence and several smallish filaments

Dave

4. Jan 7, 2018

### davenn

The Sun in Ha for 7 Jan 2018

some nice large prominences and a long filament

Dave

5. Jan 15, 2018

### davenn

The Sun in Ha for 15 Jan 2018
some nice large prominences and a couple of filament near an active region

Dave

6. Jan 15, 2018

### sophiecentaur

@davenn terrific detail. You are getting your money's worth.

7. Jan 15, 2018

cheers mate

and I have just spent another AU$1400 today on a better camera all the guys on various astro forums are telling me I should be using a monochrome camera for getting much better resolution so I have purchased the ZWO ASI1600MM https://www.bintel.com.au/product/zwo-asi1600mm-monochrome/ will be interesting to see the results Dave 8. Jan 20, 2018 ### davenn Hi guys well the ZWO ASI 1600MM finally arrived ( after the postal system sat on it for 3 days ) I did some comparisons between it and my ZWO ASI 178MC that had been the main solar cam up till today The ASI 1600 is a 16MPix Monochrome camera these first two are unprocessed ( SOOC ) , just resized for the forum and ALL images are single frame only ( no stacking) firstly ... the ASI 178MC using mono mode in SharpCap Now the ASI 1600MM NOTE:, tho the image from the 178MC looks more detailed. Strong brightness variation can be seen across the image compared to the 1600MM What I discovered in processing was that the 1600MM image processed so much better and resulted in a significant increase in finer details ASI178 processed ... ASI1600 processed .... There isn't really any comparison between the two ..... the ASI1600 shows much better detail. Specially seen around the Active Region Next post .... prominences Dave 9. Jan 20, 2018 ### davenn now some limb/prominences Ohhh golly gosh !!! again, these first two are unprocessed ( SOOC ) , just resized for the forum ASI178MC ASI 1600MM The limb and prominences are just so much sharper for the 1600MM The 1600MM with a little processing Dave 10. Jan 20, 2018 ### davenn The ASI 1600MM seems to have a better dynamic range ( well I would expect it to ) it is easier to pull out prominences and still have a non- overexposed surface please excuse the poor editing blotchiness in the dark area around the outside of the sun ( I don't claim to be the world's best editor ) Dave 11. Jan 20, 2018 ### sophiecentaur Nice pictures (as usual) Dave. As with the rest of (technical) life, you get what you pay for. The detail after enhancement makes you want to touch it. It's that lovely illusion (as with the best TV pictures, viewed at the right distance) that you could just go closer and closer with no limit to the image detail. 12. Jan 20, 2018 ### Stavros Kiri I'm sure it's not just my digital device that ... I magnify, magnify, magnify ... and still get to see a picture of the Sun (huger and huger detail!) ... Pretty cool! 13. Jan 20, 2018 ### davenn Thanks buddy So true it looks like the AU$1400 for this latest camera was worth the expense

cheers
buddy

and these pix here have been compressed in physical and kb size by the forum software

here's a link to the larger ( but not full size) rendition that I posted on other forums that don't have the restrictions

https://s10.postimg.org/eamdzbxex/180120_ASI1600_Cap001sm.jpg

the finer detail around that active region ( right area centre right, just to the left of that dark filament ) really starts to stand out

Dave

14. Jan 20, 2018

### davenn

A closer up view of the active region .....

15. Jan 20, 2018

### sophiecentaur

Totes amaze - as they say.

16. Jan 28, 2018

### davenn

The Sun in Ha, 28/01/2018
Finally some clear(ish) skies at a time of the day that I could do some observing and imaging
Some really nice prominences today ...but the surface was pretty much devoid of interesting features

Cheers
Dave

Last edited: Jan 28, 2018
17. Jan 28, 2018

### Stavros Kiri

Wow! It seems it's like "prominence day" today for the sun! ...

18. Jan 28, 2018

### davenn

yes, very much so
a nice collection

19. Feb 3, 2018

### davenn

The Sun in Ha -- 4 Feb, 2018

Haven't seen much of the sun for the last week ( since last Sunday's images) Lunt LS60THa, ASI 1600MM camera and SharpCap software.
These are single frame images (no stacking)

A couple of cropped to zoom in on the prominences and a couple of full disk .... varying the exposure allows different features to be more easily seen

cheers
Dave

20. Feb 4, 2018

### sophiecentaur

Nice pictures again, Dave. I wonder if it would be worth while tinkering with and stacking multiple exposures to include a bigger range of luminosities. I have a chum who has done this with some regular photographs and increased the contrast range successfully. (Just a thought)

21. Feb 7, 2018

### davenn

07 Feb 2018, The Sun in Ha ....
Lunt LS60THa, ASI 1600MM camera and SharpCap software.
These are single frame images (no stacking)

finally a reasonable spot group. The best for many months

cheers
Dave

22. Feb 10, 2018

### davenn

10 Feb 2018, The Sun in Ha .... The very respectable sunspot group ( largest for at least 4 months) has moved further onto the disk and is displaying some good details. Lunt LS60THa, ASI 1600MM camera and SharpCap software. These are single frame images (no stacking)

the second image is closeup of the active region, the best for some months, the black sunspots can be seen along with the bright areas of flaring between them

cheers
Dave

23. Mar 2, 2018

### davenn

The Sun in Ha, 3 March 2018

Been a couple of weeks since I last got a chance to do some solar observing/imaging some Ha images from today. One very large prominence and some filaments .... Lunt LS60THa and a ASI1600MM camera

Dave

24. Mar 3, 2018

### Stavros Kiri

Awesome!
Some colour next time? (I like both)

25. Mar 6, 2018

### davenn

hi guys and gals

for those interested in solar observations and imaging, I have found a very useful tool for determining the size of
features on the sun eg. sunspots, filaments and prominences etc

I present the Solar Ruler, available here .....
https://samuelastronomy.wordpress.com/tag/solar-ruler/

there is an English version here .....
http://thesolarexplorer.net/index.php/tutorial/article2/article2/the-solar-ruler

This is a PDF file that you load into your fav image processing program that is able to support the manipulation of layers when combined

For me, I use Photoshop (PS). I load in my solar image and I load in this PDF file they are in separate tabs at the top of the image viewing area

I resize the solar ruler image to equal the size of my solar image as close as possible, then I copy it and paste it over the top of the solar image.
I then use the move function to move the solar ruler image around so I can align it with the solar image to produce this result

Solar image is the first image from my previous post ........

NOTE: the image is seriously reduced in size and quality to be able to post on this forum

You can see I managed to get the solar and ruler image sizes to match reasonably well

I can now quickly determine the approx. size of that big prominence .... ~ 60,000 - 65,000 km in height above the suns disk !!

Quite impressive
hope some finds this useful

Dave