Saturday, July 26, 2014

filaprom

a solar prominence is typically a structure seen on the edge of the sun against the black background of space.  it often looks like an arch.  it consists of hydrogen plasma held off of the surface by magnetic fields. 

a solar filament is a large dark line seen across the face of the sun.  again hydrogen plasma held off the surface, but over the surface facing the observer, rather than on edge. 

in a sense, they are two sides of the same coin:
the filament absorbs the intense light from directly beneath then re-radiates it in all directions, with only a small amount heading directly on a line to the observer. This is why filaments appear dark on the solar disk. On the edge, we see the weaker emission component of the filament against a dark background.

that being said, i had difficulty visualizing filaments as the same structure. 
this is in part due to the fact that most images which show prominences are processed in order to lighten them compared to the surface to show more detail, so prominences always seem lighter. 

...until i caught a filaprom.  a filament that continues off the edge of the solar disk, clearly showing a dark line arching up over the surface:


2/16/14 newport beach, ca
DMK 51, 2.5x Powermate, Lunt 60 PT B1200
*manually guided on an altazmuth takahashi teegul mount.
took quite some time to process as software would not track well on solar image moving all over the field

Sunday, July 13, 2014

lost disk in color

what color are the Ha (hydrogen alpha) images of the sun?
hydrogen alpha is red, but viewing thru my solar scope, it looks reddish orange to me
no idea why, the filter is clearly red.

the images below are composites, combining a short exposure which picks up the bright surface detail
with a longer exposure burning out the center in order to pick up the faint prominences projecting off the edge of the disk.  
when combining these the prominences typically appear brighter than the disk, an artifact of processing in an attempt to bring out the faint detail in the prominence

in the first colorized version below, i used orange for the central structure and pure red for the prominences
in an attempt to correct for this brightening:




seemed like a good idea, but a bit of the detail in the prominences is lost 
here's a more aesthetically pleasing version with yellow flames shooting off the surface:



Friday, July 4, 2014

4th of july fireworks from the lost disk

back in may i took a quick look at the sun and saw multiple prominences erupting around the disk.  one of which looked like it was lifting off, so i zoomed in on it and was lucky enough to catch a lift off (prior entry).

after processing the lift off images, 
i looked at all the full disk images 
and discovered all the images occurred after the lift off was complete, missing multiple prominences

found the original full disk image from the start of lift off
misfiled on my hard drive so here it is:





brief animation (single disk frame with multiple prominence images)



i also found one more frame for the start of the close up animation
here's a small version:



color versions later

happy 4th

5/4/14 newport beach, ca

DMK 51, Lunt 60 PT B1200, ASA DDM60 
images captured ~ every 5 mintues

Sunday, June 22, 2014

happy solstice

more solar work

first a prominence animation.  

I've increased the imaging frequency and animation speed to give more fluid motion in this one.  


here's the prominence image now that i've typed enough to avoid the annoying navigation bar to the upper right (animation link below)








Here's the animation (large file)

the animation is a total of 76 images taken every 2 minutes
starting 3:30 pm on 5/31/14
each image was constructed by stacking 300 frames 
captured at 11 frames per second

here's a crop off the lower left side edge with rapid, small scale eruptions:




this is full scale with a rate 5 fps (half the prior image)
(top is 75%) 


Here's a full disk animation which is...less dramatic
the interesting part is that you can see the sun's slow rotation
as the animation snaps back to the beginning:

full disk animation (large file)

here's a bit of activity upper left at full scale:





boring details:
prominence:
5/31/14 newport beach, ca
DMK 51, 2.5x Powermate, Lunt 60 PT B1200, ASA DDM60 
76 images taken every 2 minutes
starting 3:30 pm on 5/31/14
each image was constructed by stacking 300 frames
captured at 11 frames per second
full disk:
5/4/14 newport beach, ca
DMK 51, Lunt 60 PT B1200, ASA DDM60 
images captured ~ every 5 mintues






Thursday, June 5, 2014

Saturn and friends

caught saturn the other night with fair seeing
a number of moons were evident visually

visually i was able to see titan, tethys, reha and dione
stretching in photoshop brought out enceladus and surprisingly, faint hyperion up top.
mimas is lost in the glare just below the planet and iapetus is way off the field to the left

Details
6/1/2014 costal peak park, newport beach, ca
Nexstar 8 GPS, ZWO ASI120MC camera
for disc close up
Shutter=9.560ms Gain=97 Gamma=50 104 fps
moons 
Shutter=29.53ms Gain=97 Gamma=88
FPS (avg.)=13

Thursday, May 22, 2014

up up and away

saw a promising prominence on 5/4/14 and decided to image it:

here's the animation just over 2 hours imaging once every 5 minutes
a lucky catch as the magnetic field lines holding the hydrogen plasma in place above the sun snapped:



boring details:
5/4/2014, newport beach, ca
DMK 51, 2.5x Powermate, Lunt 60 PT B1200, ASA DDM60

using firecapture now which allowed a sequence
imaging one minute out of every 5 @ 12fps
and mostly automated processing with registax
still had to do final alignment by hand

Thursday, May 15, 2014

solar prominence, the movie: mother of a prom revisited

sent out an image last year of a solar prominence i'd captured :
mother of a prom

here's an animation from the same day:


same time scale as prior animation post), but higher resolution, focusing on prominence at edge.

Long winded processing notes:
i continued to capture video of the prominence for 160 minutes at 2 frames per second
unfortunately, the resulting avi file was so big, my processing software crashed on it repeatedly
(virtual dub and registax) so i abandoned the project

improvements in the processing software (and actually reading the manual) as well as newer editing software (pipp) allowed me to chop it up into more managable bits and process them as a batch
wound up with 25x400 second videos
edited with pipp and registax
then taken to photoshop for curves to smooth the background, spot healing to stomp out a spot left by a dust mote (sharp eyed viewer might catch artifact at the left edge towards the end) and final animation. 

5/12/13, los alamitos, CA 
DMK 51, 2.5x Powermate, Lunt 60 PT B1200, ASA DDM60