Sun CaK / White Light With AR152 Refractor + Lunt CaK filter or Baader Wedge Uploaded 12/22/12 Daily Report For Saturday December 22, 2012
 Only once in a while does a stunning sunspot triplet present itself on the disk, and todays Sun did not disappoint! This beautiful grouping was also richly detailed, and accompanied by another solitary group with considerable detail. Here are some shots of the sun in both white light using the six inch refractor, Baader Herschel wedge and continuum filters with IR/UV blockers. Also used for the first time with some success was the B600 Calcium K filter with this instrument. The focal ratio and aperture are not a good match here, creating severe vignetting. I found that the four inch stop provided the sharpest view, and flats helped remove the worst of the vignette issues. So here are my results for today, thanks for looking at them!
Images below are 1290 wide and non clickable


Lets start with a full disk span, created from two images combined to form a panorama across the sun. The AR152 is a bit too long in focal length to allow a full disk shot, but this works well:

Next, lets zoom in on the two groups with the 2.5x Televue Powermate Barlow and see what details we can see. This is the solitary sunspot first:

Next, here is the really nice sunspot trio with plenty of details to deliver:

Now the seeing was not too good, around 2/5 which meant that the granulation was only seen about 10 percent of the time on the computer screen live. By combining the best 50 out of 1600 frames, the software (Autostakkert 2) was able to still pull out a decent image, and the granulation was now more clearly resolved. First the nice sunspot trio, with the full six inches of aperture:

Here is the solitary sunspot, but now I had to stop back down to 4 inches because the seeing had really started to degrade:

Next, I put in the 393nm Calcium K filter and the two sunspot regions are now very active hot spots of solar activity. The white areas around the spots at this wavelength are called "Plage" and hover over the white light faculae which are normally seen on the limb faintly. The color of the sun at this wavelength depends on how old your eyes are! For very young eyes a very deep purple can just be seen. It becomes dimmer and bluer as we age. The reason is that this is actually near ultra violet, and beyond the range of normal vision. Eyes do not work well in this region. I then tend to colorize the images sometimes blue, sometimes closer to violet. I am also going to put in a set with conventional orange hues, which you may like better...

These are with the 2.5x Barlow:

Instruments: Explore Scientific AR152 Refractor Platform: Astrophysics 1200 Camera: DMK 51 Location: Payson, Arizona Elevation: 5150 ft. Sky: Seeing 2/5, Transparency 7/10 Outside Temperature: 45F Processing: Registax 6, Photoshop CS2 Solar Home Page HOME SCHMIDT GALAXIES EMISSION NEBS REFLECTION NEBS COMETS GLOBULARS OPEN CLUST PLANETARIES LINKS