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 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

solar animation teaser

A while ago, captured over 2 hours of video of the sun, full disk in hydrogen alpha
hoping to animate some of the motion occurring in the hydrogen plasma.
here's the full disk image (click on image for full size):
after hours of processing, it was mostly a bust
learned i needed either much higher magnification or longer time course or luck
to get something interesting.

here are a few areas where there was a bit of motion:
lower left plage (bright spot)

upper left there was a small area with a mini filament bursting apart in a tiny eruption (scale still larger than planet earth of course).  had to up-sample it x2 to see it:


and upper right up-sampled x2 again:





cheers

-bill w

Monday, May 5, 2014

Farewell Mars, welcome Saturn

still a bit of detail visible on mars, but it's fading rapidly
learned this apparition how important the weather/time of day on mars is for imaging
in addition to whether/seeing here:

here's mars at opposition very bright, poor seeing:

guessing it's late summer on mars as the polar cap (upper right) is extremely small
there's not much more detail to see
as this portion of the surface is uniform
through a small scope with mediocre seeing you'll have trouble seeing much more than an orange/tan disc.

here's mars at closest approach:


a bit more contrast, but still not much detail, making this a tough one visually as well.
btw the white dot in the center is a cloud hovering on the left side of olympus mons,
largest mountain in the solar system

and finally, a night of decent seeing
with the low albedo (dark) regions prominently on display:


the surface structure was obvious in the scope on this evening
the mid to upper right dark patch is syrtis major i think.
the dark patches are areas where wind has blown away the tan iron oxide dust
showing darker rocks

after finishing mars on the evening above
i turned the scope on a bright object rising in the east:






low magnification as it was only 30 degrees above the horizon

8"SCT FL ~2000 mm, ASI 120 MC Camera 5ms video exposures
some images barlowed 2.5x or upsampled 2x