The Sun in Hydrogen Alpha.

Got myself a Coronado Personal Solar Telescope (PST)!

The best way to find out just what a PST is, and what it can do, is to check this link to Maurice Gavin's review of the  Coronado PST.


Index to my images of the Sun in hydrogen alpha.
2005 2006 2007
April, May, July 2006 index page.
2007 index page.


April 23th 2005

The image on the left shows some of the prominences on the 23rd
with close ups below.

April 25th 2005

I have processed the images to make the final picture look as close as possible to the view at the eyepiece, the learning curve is very steep.

Registax was used to bring out the detail, four very exposed images to get the prominences and six to try to get detail in the disc.

The dark spot just below 3 o'clock is a large sunspot just beginning its two week long traverse across the Sun.

I am pleased with the prominences but I have overcooked the processing on the disc so the filaments, prominences seen against the disc, are not well shown although a faint but large one can be seen about 2 o'clock.

April 25th 2005

The image on the left shows some of the prominences on the 25rd
with close ups below.


May 13th 2005

Tried to be a bit more subtle today, anyone who knows me will know how difficult that was. Just one reasonably sized prominence but a lot of detail on the disc. I bracketed the exposures, two stops on either side of the auto exposure and shot about 20 images at each setting at 1024x768 pixels so that I could use Registax to align and process 20 images at a time, my computer doesn't like more pixels. A home made remote shutter release allows me to use the Nikon 950 in continuous mode, it just keeps clicking away until the camera's memory buffer is full.
The light areas on the disc are "plages", close to sunspot groups. If you look closely, you can see thin dark lines at various places around the disc. These are "filaments", prominences seen agaist the Sun's disc, rather than jutting out beyond the limb. At the eyepiece, the plages looked like red-hot coals.

May 13th 2005

This is exactly the same information, just processed differently.
I tried to bring out the disc details a bit more, and showed the prominences in a ring just like the big boys do.
I think you can see the filaments and the sunspotsa bit more clearly.

A couple of hours after I took these images, the bright area just to the lower left of the large sunspot unleashed a massive solar flare. This outburst was actually seen live by some lucky people through a PST just like the one I use. Twenty four hours later there were some massive prominences, biggest I have seen, but of course, it clouded over.

May 13th 2005

This is a close up of the prominence at 10 o'clock.

May 26th 2005

These images were taken in a howling gale, I was afraid to leave my telescope set-up in case the whole lot blew over.

As you can see from the differences between this image and the previous ones, I am still experimenting, and learning how to use Registax.

About 28 images were stacked to get the disc detail but I have to overexpose
about 2 stops to bring out the prominences and was almost beaten by the clouds,
I just had 3 usable images.

This processing method is very long and complex but it seems to have got rid of the "muddiness" which was present in the previous images.

May 26th 2005

The prominences are shown on the left, isolated from the disc with close ups below.

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                                         The hydrogen-alpha Sun in July.